Legends Cole and Baresi launch first International Champions Cup game for Wales

Andrew Cole and Franco Baresi announce the ICC preseason fixture between Manchester United and AC Milan on August 3rd, 2019. Image Nathan Parker

by Nathan Parker

MANCHESTER United will face European giant’s AC Milan in Cardiff this summer in the first International Champions Cup game to be played in Wales.

The game will be part of United’s summer tour ahead of the 2019-20 Premier League season.

Club legends Andrew Cole and Franco Baresi helped promote the match at the Principality Stadium.

During his six years with the Red Devils, Cole notched up an impressive 93 goals helping Sir Alex Ferguson’s men to five league titles as well as the famous European cup victory of 1999.

Baresi on the other hand was a one club man as he notched up an astonishing 531 appearances in a Milan shirt and was part of Italy’s World Cup winning side of 1982.

The fixture at the Principality Stadium on the 3rdAugust will see the two legend’s former sides meet for the first time since Manchester United’s 4-0 victory in the Champions League back in 2010.

Press launch for Manchester United and AC Milan on August 3rd, 2019. Image Nathan Parker

Having played and scored at the then Millennium Stadium, ex-United striker Cole said: “First and foremost it’s a special stadium and it’s place I have fond memories of having been fortunate to get a winner here.

“I think it will be good for the Manchester United supporters in Wales to get the opportunity to watch their team play during the pre-season period. The fans can expect a good football match because of the history of the two clubs.

Known as ‘Kaiser Franz’ in Italy, Baresi has also played in iconic stadiums all over the world including at the home of AC Milan, the San Siro. But the Italian great seemed impressed with the stature of Wales’ national stadium calling it “special”.

“Unfortunately, in Italy the stadiums aren’t that nice and there are not many as special as this one so it will be a great pleasure to play such an arena when it is packed out,” said Baresi.

As well as talking about the magnificent stadium, Baresi continued with the Welsh theme after being quizzed on Aaron Ramsey’s move to Juventus in the summer.

“I’ve watched him play a lot of times for Arsenal and he is definitely a great midfield player and will contribute a lot to Juventus. I firmly believe he will be able to fit in with our kind of football in Italy.”

The pre-season fixture is part of the International Champions Cup competition which involves 12 of the biggest teams in world football. The tournament will kick-off on the 16thJuly in Illinois before a climactic finish on 10thAugust between Aaron Ramsey’s Juventus and Atletico Madrid in Sweden.

For the first time in the competitions short seven-year history there will be a game in the city of Cardiff.  More details here.