The announcement on Thursday that super power Real Madrid will visit Lincoln Financial Field on July 23 to play the Philadelphia Union was greeted with tremendous enthusiasm in the soccer community. It is the latest in a long line of world-class events to happen at Lincoln Financial Field, which opened (in case you don't remember) with a soccer game in 2003 featuring Manchester United and played before a sold-out, psyched-up crowd in South Philadelphia.
Real's visit on July 23 marks the 10th international soccer match played at Lincoln Financial Field, and it continues the affirmation that the stadium is a must-visit for touring teams and that Philadelphia is a hot-bed spot for the game. The event is one of many in an action-packed summer at Lincoln Financial Field, a slate that includes Advanced Auto Parts Monster Jam (June 4) and concerts by Kenny Chesney (June 18), U2 (July 14) and Taylor Swift (August 6).
When the Eagles drew up the plans for Lincoln Financial Field more than a decade ago, they envisioned a state-of-the-art facility that would house the Eagles and their fans in first-class luxury, of course, but they also aspired to create an environment that would bring in national and international sports and entertainment events to the city.
That mission has been accomplished many, many times over.
In this instance, soccer fans will be treated to a performance from a Real Madrid franchise that is as well-known and heavily decorated as any in the sport.
Real Madrid was voted by FIFA -- the governing body of world soccer -- as the best European club of the 20th century. Founded in 1902, Real Madrid C.F. have won a record nine UEFA Champions Leagues and 31 La Liga titles, 18 Spanish Copa del Rey Cups, eight Spanish Super Cups, two UEFA Cups, one UEFA Supercup and three Intercontinental Cups. Real Madrid defeated their archrival F.C. Barcelona 1-0 in overtime to win their 18th Copa del Rey on April 20.
So it is a world-class powerhouse that comes to Philadelphia on July 23 in what should be a hot ticket and an incredible atmosphere to enjoy. It is a great catch for the City of Philadelphia and for an Eagles organization that went out and recruited Real Madrid to come here as one of only three games in the United States, and the only one outside of the state of California.
Lincoln Financial Field is well established, and has been since it opened in 2003, as a must-visit destination for top concerts, world-class events and the best in international soccer, and this summer an exclamation point is added as Real Madrid brings its act to a city that loves a game the world calls its own.