16 July 2016

Stade de Reims invited for Real Madrid's Trofeo Bernabeu

August match will celebrate European Cup final anniversary

My piece in MARCA

Real Madrid have decided to celebrate the 60th anniversary of their maiden win in the European Cup by inviting the side they beat in the final all those years ago, Stade de Reims, to compete in the annual Trofeo Bernabeu fixture.

The game is set to take place on August 16, a week after Madrid's season officially gets underway against Sevilla in the UEFA Super Cup, and four days before Los Merengues start their La Liga campaign against Real Sociedad.

Madrid feel the match is a fitting way to mark the occasion of their first success having claimed their eleventh European Cup crown as recently as May.

However, it's also an acceptance of the fact that the calendar can often make it difficult to attract top calibre opponents for this traditional curtain-raiser.

Reims dropped in to the French second division last term, and in 2014 Los Blancos chose to invite Alfredo di Stefano's former club Millonarios having played Raul's Al-Sadd the year before.

Real Madrid set off on their North American tour on Sunday and have already had to cancel a planned friendly against Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley due to a clash with the UEFA Super Cup.


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