Chicago will once again play host to two of the world’s biggest soccer teams.
It was announced Tuesday that English super-club Manchester United will face French powerhouse Paris Saint-Germain on Wednesday, July 29 at Soldier Field as part of the International Champions Cup. Last July, England’s Liverpool beat Greek side Olympiakos 1-0 at Soldier Field as part of the ICC.
This game, however, could be bigger.
No offense to Liverpool or Olympiakos, but Manchester United and PSG represent two of the largest brands in world soccer. United, which will likely return to the UEFA Champions League next season, has won 20 English titles and claimed the European Cup championship three times. The Red Devils have famous players such as Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie and could add more before next season.
That said, the most well-known player could suit up for PSG.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic is perhaps world soccer’s best striker. The Swedish striker is known for his panache and skill, though it’s possible he could have taken that panache and skill elsewhere by the time PSG arrives in Chicago.
As for Chicago, it brings Manchester United back to the place where it’s both thrilled and bored fans. In 2011, United beat the Fire 3-1 in front of an announced crowd of 61,308 with goals from Rooney, Rafael and Nani and put on a show in the process. Seven years earlier, the show was considerably sleepier when United rested most of its biggest names and played Germany’s Bayern Munich to a dreary scoreless draw before losing in penalty kicks, drawing boos and whistles from many in attendance.
The United-PSG match will be the second major soccer event at Soldier Field that month. On July 9, the Gold Cup will stage a doubleheader that features Mexico’s match with Cuba.