United, Spurs, Juve and Inter ready to heat up ICC Singapore

Dwight Yorke (representing Manchester United), Francesco Toldo (Inter Milan), Fabrizio Ravanelli (Juventus) and Teddy Sheringham (Tottenham) at the announcement of the clubs' participation in this year's ICC.
Dwight Yorke (representing Manchester United), Francesco Toldo (Inter Milan), Fabrizio Ravanelli (Juventus) and Teddy Sheringham (Tottenham) at the announcement of the clubs' participation in this year's ICC.ST PHOTO: JASMINE CHOONG

Now into its third year in Singapore, the International Champions Cup (ICC) is set for its most exciting edition yet with Serie A heavyweights Juventus and Inter Milan, and English Premier League (EPL) giants Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur confirming their participation yesterday.

The pre-season tournament for Europe's top football clubs will be played in Singapore's National Stadium, it was announced at an event at the Incubator, near the Padang.

The Red Devils will take on Inter on July 20 and a day later, the Old Lady of Turin will meet Spurs.

Legends from the clubs - Dwight Yorke (United), Francesco Toldo (Inter), Fabrizio Ravanelli (Juventus) and Teddy Sheringham (Tottenham) were present at the launch.

Sheringham said: "There is nothing like seeing the teams in the flesh. And with no distraction of other big tournaments (in Europe), hopefully all the big players will be on show for our Asian fans."

With no World Cup and European Championship played in the summer, the stage is set for a galaxy of stars to play in Singapore, apart from the South American players involved in the Copa America.

That means the clubs' top players, like Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus), Ivan Perisic (Inter), Marcus Rashford (United) and Harry Kane (Spurs) could all feature under Kallang's floodlights.

And United's visit will be particularly exciting to their large fan base here. The club last played in Singapore in 2001, when a side that featured Roy Keane, David Beckham and even goalkeeper Fabien Barthez playing up front defeated a Singapore Selection side 8-1, with then-Lions striker Indra Sahdan scoring for the hosts.

And even before the ICC kicks off in July, the banter between the former players had already started.

"Inter love hot weather, it's a pleasure for us to be here. It's (the heat) not an issue for us," Toldo said.

That prompted Ravanelli to reply: "We are different from Inter because we (Juventus) are always at the top. We are constantly expanding tactically but we also want to improve our knowledge and understanding of this part of the world."

In 2017, when the ICC first came to Singapore, Bayern Munich, Chelsea and Inter Milan were the elite clubs that were invited.

Last year, Arsenal, Atletico Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain were the teams that battled it out.

Official tickets will go on sale to the general public from 10am, April 4, at www.sportshub.com.sg, Sports Hub Box Offices, as well as other physical locations.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 28, 2019, with the headline 'United, Spurs, Juve and Inter ready to heat up ICC S'pore'. Print Edition | Subscribe