Real Madrid vs. Chelsea: ICC Championship Will Provide Preseason Proving Ground
Yes, this is the championship match of the International Champions Cup, but that's not what is going to make this match truly memorable.
With Jose Mourinho leading Chelsea into action against his former club, there is no doubt that both sides will be looking to make a bit of a statement at the expense of the other.
As if that wasn't enough, Mourinho isn't the only manager in this matchup who will be going against a former club. Former Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti is in charge of keeping Real Madrid rolling at a high level.
While I wouldn't expect any of the players or managers to come out and say they are going to treat this contest with extra attention, I'm also not buying that. And that especially pertains to Cristiano Ronaldo.
Mourinho is no stranger to ruffling some feathers, and he hasn't sparred his former club or players.
For his part, Cristiano Ronaldo was not drawn into a public war of words with his former manager.
The Guardian passed along this quote about Mourinho's comments from CR7:
I prefer to remember the good things from coaches. I don't spit on the plate from which I eat and I don't speak about people who say bad things about me.
We are going to face Chelsea, not their coach. It is another warm-up game and we hope to win it so we can start La Liga in the best manner possible.
Ronaldo's willingness to take the high road is admirable, but I expect CR7 to push to let his play on the pitch make the statement he would not allow his mouth to make.
As everyone is aware at this point, Ronaldo is an elite talent. It is dangerous to give him any extra motivation for stellar play, and when he is at his best, he is nearly impossible to stop.
That said, if anyone knows how to slow him down, it is Mourinho.
I would expect hefty doses of attention being paid to Ronaldo from the likes of Branislav Ivanovic and Cesar Azpilicueta.
Chelsea has looked great in early action under Mourinho. They are 5-0 and have outscored opponents 17-2. However, there is no doubt this will be their biggest test yet.
Real Madrid has the talent and explosiveness to give Chelsea fits. Both sides will be eager to prove that they are capable of besting their former managers and make a statement for the upcoming season.
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