A chance meeting and a chat between two friends has led to star-studded Real Madrid agreeing to play a friendly at English Championship side AFC Bournemouth later this month.
Bournemouth chairman Eddie Mitchell told Sky Sports on Tuesday that the match, on July 21, is “down to fate.”
“My son was talking to a friend who knows people at Real Madrid and got chatting about a possible exhibition match,” Mitchell said. “We’ve worked hard over the last three or four weeks to finalize things.”
It will be one of the first games for new Real coach Carlo Ancelotti and his assistant Zinedine Zidane.
Mitchell said Real would bring Cristiano Ronaldo “for sure” to the south coast club for the match which is part of Bournemouth’s celebration for winning promotion to the second tier of English soccer last season.
“The only ones who won’t be there are the players who were in the Confederations Cup,” he said. “I’m over the moon for the supporters. It’ll be a great night for them to see some of the best players in the world and for our players to pit themselves against them.”
Bournemouth are charging ￡60 (US$91) for an adult ticket to see the game, more than double this season’s Championship price, with a ￡5 discount for season-ticket holders.
Mitchell defended the prices, saying: “I think for the club, [the game] is priceless.”
“It’s showcasing what we can do on a match day against a special team — some of the world’s best players. So, no, I don’t think it’s too expensive. It’s a great opportunity,” he said.