By Paul Nicholson
August 1 – English champions Leicester City made their Hollywood debut in LA with an inconspicuous 4-0 spanking at the hands of French champions Paris St-Germain. One wonders if the follow-up movie to the Leicester story currently being scripted by two big name Osar-winning writers will have a different storyline.
In fact, Leicester players had generally been hard to find in Los Angeles in contrast to PSG who had embarked on a series of local initiatives from beach soccer with Santa Monica Sporting players (many of them Hollywood football movie doubles) by the famous Santa Monicca pier, to a PSG pop-up store in glitzy West Hollywood.
However, Leicester are still the story of the moment and last week the producers of the movie, Bedlam Productions (The King’s Speech), announced The Fighter’s Oscar-nominated writers Paul Tamasy and Eric Johnson to bring the story to the big screen. Much of the focus in the film is expected to be Jamie Vardy’s rags to riches footballing story. Filming begins later this year, by which time it will likely be clear which possible story direction a sequel might take.
Leicester and PSG’s pre-season match-up in Carson (a 25,717 sell-out at the StubHub Center) was part of the International Champions Cup (ICC) which this weekend saw what organisers are describing as a “banner day” with more than 260,000 football fans turning out to watch five matches in Ann Arbor, Charlotte, Dublin, Santa Clara and Carson.
More than 105,000 fans packed the ‘Big House’ at the University of Michigan to watch UEFA Champions League winners Real Madrid beat Chelsea 3-2. This is the second season this stadium has filled over 100,000 for an ICC match.
Other results saw Liverpool beat AC Milan 2-0 at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara (home of the San Franciso 49ers), while Bayern Munich overcame Internazionale 4-1 at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte (home of the Charlotte Panthers) in front of 53,629 fans.
The 2016 ICC runs from July 23 – August 13 and features 15 matches played across three continents. Each team will play three matches and the club with the most points will be crowned champion. Drawn matches at the end of full time go straight to penalty shoot-out with the winning team getting two points and the losing team one.
Barcelona and Celtic opened the tournament in Europe in front of a sell-out crowd at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin, Ireland.
This weekend Barca face Liverpool in what is the ICC’s showpiece European fixture at London’s Wembley Stadium on Saturday.
PSG currently top the ICC table with three wins, Barca (one win) play Leicester in Stockholm on Wednesday before their Wembley showdown at the weekend.
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