Galatasaray is the first team from Turkey ever to compete for the Santiago Bernabeu Trophy. It took until the 33rd edition of the tournament to produce a Turkish representative, but Galatsaray has finally broken the cycle.
They'll be taking on Real Madrid in what is sure to be a challenging matchup.
Real Madrid has won the tournament 21 times. Since 2005, there has been no team has been able to knock off Real Madrid.
They'll try to make it seven straight as Galtasaray looks to knock them from their throne.
Where: Santiago Bernabeu Stadium
When: Wednesday, August 24th
Watch: ESPN3, ESPN Deportes
Live Streaming: ESPN3
Biggest Storyline: Can Galatasaray possibly compete with Real Madrid?
Galatasaray is grossly outmatched. This glorified friendly is going to be a great measuring stick for Galatasaray, but it's highly unlikely that we will see the spectacular David vs. Goliath upset Galatasaray is hoping for.
For Real Madrid this is an opportunity to flex their dominance at this tournament once again. No challengers have proven worthy over the past six years, and the 2011 edition of this tournament should prove to be no exception.
Player to Watch for Galatasaray: Emmanuel Eboue
Emmanuel Eboue was recently acquired from Arsenal. Galatasaray has to be excited about what he has to offer. He knows something about competing against elite teams and will be given an opportunity to prove his worth when he squares off against Real Madrid in a Galatasaray jersey.
Player to Watch for Real Madrid: Cristiano Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo is always the player to watch when Real Madrid takes the pitch. He was recently shown up by Lionel Messi when Real Madrid took on Barcelona.
We can expect a huge match from him. While he scored a goal vs Barcelona, it was clear who the best player in the match was.
Ronaldo will want to prove himself and could easily unleash a multiple-goal performance.
Key Matchup: Fernando Muslera vs. Real Madrid Attack
Fernando Muslera is going to give Galatasaray a huge lift from a goalkeeping standpoint. He's going to see plenty of action against Real Madrid, and how he handles it will be a huge factor in this match.
Muslera was incredible in the Copa America. Galatasaray is hoping his addition will help them compete against dominant European teams. They'll get an opportunity to see show his skills against an elite team.
What They're Saying
Jose Mournho looks to dispel of the rumors that he will be leaving Real Madrid, saying:
Only those who don't know me can dream, make up or believe I may leave Real Madrid at this stage. I believe many people were surprised by the quality football showcased by Real Madrid during the preseason and it would be surprising news to them if I left the club now. Impossible!
I have a fantastic president who is very intelligent and with whom I have a great friendship. I also have a director general who works for the club 24 hours a day, so my motivation is enormous and my Madridismo is even greater than that of some pseudo-Madridistas. There is no way I'm leaving. No way!
Faith Terim, Galatasaray coach, speaks of challenges that lie ahead:
It is not easy to play against Real Madrid in either an official game or a friendly. But it is good to see Galatasaray at Santiago Bernabeu. Playing in Spain again is an important rendezvous for a team that wants to be remembered again. Even though it is a friendly, it is important for Galatasaray to play well and take this seriously.
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