ESPN, the Worldwide Leader in Sports, announced today they will provide unprecedented coverage of El Clásico Miami as the rivalry between Spanish football giants FC Barcelona and Real Madrid emanates from the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida, July 29th.
This game is a preseason friendly and part of the International Champions Cup. What are those?
The International Champions Cup is a group of matches organized to simulate a tournament. Although, many teams seek to find their top form as they prepare for their respective season, it’s an unique opportunity for American fans to see their favorite teams and cheer their favorite players.
With that in mind, the ESPN family of networks will provide unprecedented English and Spanish-language coverage of the upcoming FC Barcelona vs. Real Madrid international football match, the featured match in the 2017 International Champions Cup. The game will be televised Saturday, July 29 at Hard Rock Stadium at 7:30 on ESPN, ESPN Deportes, ESPN Deportes Radio and streamed live on the ESPN App. ESPN Deportes’ Spanish-language telecast will be simulcast on ESPN2 at 8 p.m.
Considered the greatest rivalry in football, possibly in the world, Barcelona vs. Real Madrid features Lionel Messi (Barcelona) and Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid), two players who have combined to win the last nine FIFA Ballon d’Or Awards given annually to the world’s best footballer. Real Madrid has won back-to-back UEFA Champions League crowns.
“Miami is a sexy city, and as far as sports rivalries go, it doesn’t get much sexier than Real Madrid vs. Barcelona, so you put all that together, along with PSG-Juve, and it’s quite a week of soccer,” said Scott Gugliemino, ESPN’s Senior Vice President for Programming and Production. “It’s the perfect summer event, with the backdrop of Miami, so we expect a lot of interest from soccer fans and casual fans, as well.”
ESPN will have 25 on-air personalities commentating and reporting on El Clásico Miami, none happier than Miami native and current ESPN Deportes reporter, Antoinette “Toni” Collins.
“I never imagined, when I was growing up in Westchester, playing at St. Brendan’s and rooting for Barcelona on T.V. with my family that one day I’d be back in my hometown, covering El Clasico,” said Collins, 33. “It’s a dream come true for me. When I first heard that Barca and Real Madrid were coming to Miami, I texted my mom and said, `I’m going to be there.’’’
SportsCenter will be live from Miami beginning Wednesday, July 26th through the 29th culminating in a 90-minute show from El Clásico Miami. Many analysts will appear throughout the telecasts.
“Miami is such a melting pot, and there is so much passion for soccer there, it was part of my DNA growing up,” Toni Collins said. “My dream was to work for ESPN, and now to think that this Hispanic girl from Miami is going to be hosting SportsCenter with Hannah Storm from my hometown, it’s just amazing. I will be beaming with pride, showing off Miami that week.”
Needless to say, this is the biggest commitment to a single match in ESPN’s history.