Compared to epic globe-trotting world tours that see sides exhausted and weeping by the time the domestic season starts, Real Madrid’s summer schedule is a fairly modest one. It is just the two continents, five countries and eight games for the Spanish side.
From Bournemouth to Gothenburg, Los Angeles to St. Louis, here is a cheeky guide to where Real Madrid can be found strutting their stuff over the next six weeks.
July 22: Bournemouth vs. Real Madrid (Bournemouth, England)
This is a peculiar one. Carlo Ancelotti’s Real Madrid adventure will kick off at the modest surroundings of the Goldsands Stadium on the English south coast.
In a game that must have had local fans thinking that it was a July Fool joke, Madrid are coming Bournemouth in a fixture where the instructions to the local side will be not to damage the visiting merchandise. “We’ve met their requirements and they are on they way,” chirped Bournemouth chairman Eddie Mitchell to BBC Radio Solent.
July 24: Olympique Lyon vs. Real Madrid (Lyon, France)
There is a dual purpose to Madrid’s second particular encounter. It is a chance for Ancelotti to test himself against familiar opponents after his spell as PSG coach. Karim Benzema also gets to pop home to his former club and perhaps save the club’s hotel bill by putting some of his teammates in the spare room or on the sofa.
July 27: Real Madrid vs. Paris Saint Germain (Gothenburg, Sweden)
Sweden plays host to a friendly with more than a little back story to it. Madrid’s new Italian boss faces a matchup from the club he broke a contract with to move to the Spanish capital.
Whilst it is still early doors in preseason, so a gentle kick-about between the two teams is on the cards, Ancelotti will find out if he will ever be able to make a trip up the Eiffel Tower again, based on the greeting from the manager’s former employers.
August 1: Real Madrid vs. LA Galaxy (Phoenix, USA)
Admittedly, LA Galaxy is one of the more glamorous outfits in MLS, but it is a shame that Madrid are not taking on Seattle Sounders in front of 60,000 in the cool northwest. Instead, it is a matchup against familiar opponents from previous summer trips in the middle of the desert in the first match of the Guinness International Champions Cup.
Everton boss Roberto Martinez is not massively well-known in his home country, due to the length of time the Spaniard has spent in England. A clash against Real Madrid, should Juventus be overcome in their Champions Cup first-round clash, will help boost the manager’s fame a little.
However, getting past their Italian opponents could be a bit of a challenge for the English team, so a chance for Spain and Madrid fans to see how Fernando Llorente is getting on with his new team is more likely.
August 6-7: Unknown (Miami, USA)
Depending on how everyone fares in the U.S.-based tournament, Madrid could be facing AC Milan, Valencia, Chelsea or Inter Milan in the final match of the competition. Of course, everyone wants a swift reunion in the final with a certain London side. Hard to think why.
August 10: Inter Milan (St. Louis, USA)
Real Madrid’s preseason business across the pond is not over with after the completion of the Champions Cup. There is a final stop-off on the return to Spain in St. Louis to take on Inter Milan, in what could feasibly the second of two matches between the sides in three days.
August 20-21: Al-Sadd (Madrid, Spain)
After leaving the club rather quietly three years ago, club legend Raul is back with a bang with his Qatari team. The annual Santiago Bernabeu trophy—which Real Madrid end up winning, funnily enough—is a tribute, a farewell and a welcome back to one of the club's greatest-ever footballers all in one game.