Organisers expect 40,000 fans to pack The Sevens for Real Madrid v AC Milan
DUBAI // It is a match that pits against one another two of world football’s most decorated clubs, a collection of the planet’s finest players and a couple of old friends.
Real Madrid and AC Milan compete in the Dubai Football Challenge at The Sevens stadium on Tuesday night, with the arena said to be a sell-out at 40,000.
Madrid, the reigning Uefa Champions League holders and current leaders in Spain’s Primera Liga, have 10 European Cups, while their Italian counterparts, at present seventh in the Italian Serie A, sit next to them in the all-time continental list, having lifted seven.
Meanwhile, the respective managers have history: Carlo Ancelotti, the Madrid coach, managed Filippo Inzaghi for eight years from 2001. Inzaghi, once a potent striker for both Milan and Italy, is now in charge of the San Siro side.
Ancelotti noted the link on Monday during the pre-match press briefing at Emirates Group Headquarters.
“It’s going to be a very special game for me because I have a long history with AC Milan,” he said. “I have a very good relationship with the current Milan manager. He used to play for me, so it will be a very special day.
“I have some good memories about this club and I’m really happy that this match can happen this week. It will be an honour for us to play Milan.”
Given the history of the two clubs, this encounter could conceivably be labelled the highest-profile friendly the UAE has hosted. It has certainly captured the imagination of the players.
“This is going to be a very special match between the teams with the most European Cups,” said Dani Carvajal, the Madrid full-back. “We are all excited to be in the UAE. From what I’ve seen, Dubai looks like a very interesting city. We will try to enjoy this match.”
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Published: December 29, 2014 04:00 AM