Real Madrid unveiled today their 25-man travel roster for the upcoming 2011 Herbalife World Football Challenge. The list of international superstars includes attacker Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal), Midfielders Xabi Alonso (Spain) and Kaká (Brazil), defender Sergio Ramos (Spain), goalkeeper Iker Casillas (Spain), as well as many other stars from FIFA’s top European club of the 20th century.
“We are extremely pleased to have some of the world’s premier soccer players at Lincoln Financial Field,” said Eagles Chief Operating Officer Don Smolenski. “The star power of Real Madrid’s roster should bring a great deal of excitement to this match. When you look at some of these names like Cristiano Ronaldo and Kaká, they are some of the most popular athletes in the world. We are proud to have them in Philadelphia and think this will be a great event for all fans of soccer.”
"We are very excited Real Madrid is bringing their first team and will put their best foot forward against the Union,” added Philadelphia Union CEO & Operating Partner Nick Sakiewicz. “It will be a great opportunity for us to show the world that our football is high quality and it will be a great spectacle for our fans."
Real Madrid 2011 Herbalife World Football Challenge Roster (subject to change)
Goalkeepers: Iker Casillas (Spain), Antonio Adán (Spain)
Casillas serves as a captain on both the Spanish National Team and Real Madrid. He was named the World’s Best Goalkeeper in 2008, 2009 and 2010, and earned the Golden Glove Award at the 2010 World Cup, which goes to the tournament’s best goalkeeper.
Defenders: Ricardo Carvalho (Portugal), Pepe (Portugal), Sergio Ramos (Spain), Marcelo Viera (Brazil), Alvaro Arbeloa (Spain), Raul Albiol (Spain), Ezequiel Garay (Argentina), David Mateos (Spain)
Carvalho is a veteran defender who also plays for the Portuguese National Team. He was named to the FIFA World Cup All-Star Team for his performance in the 2006 World Cup. Ramos, who won the 2010 World Cup as a member of Spain’s National Team was named to the FIFA World Cup All-Star Team for his performance in that tournament.
Midfielders: Fernando Gago (Argentina), Kaká (Brazil), Lassana Diarra (France), Xabi Alonso (Spain), Sergio Canales (Spain), Pedro León (Spain), Mesut Özil (Germany), Sami Khedira (Germany), Hamit Altintop (Turkey), Nuri Şahin (Turkey), José Callejón (Spain), Roysten Drenthe (Netherlands)
Kaká is a Brazilian attacking midfielder who has scored 15 goals in 39 appearances with Real Madrid after spending years with AC Milan, where he was named World’s Best Soccer Player and FIFA World Player of the Year in 2007. Xabi Alonso is another 2010 World Cup champion who plays for the Spanish National Team, and Özil is a German attacking midfielder, had a breakout performance in the 2010 World Cup, which secured him a nomination for the prestigious Golden Ball award.
Attackers: Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal), Karim Benzema (France), Esteban Granero (Spain)
Ronaldo claimed 2008 World Soccer Player of the Year and Ballon d’Or honors. He is also a three-time Premier League Champion with Manchester United. Following his second campaign with Real Madrid, Ronaldo finished the 2010-11 La Liga season as the league’s top scorer. Benzema is a French international striker who has scored 23 goals in only 60 appearances with Real Madrid.
Manager: Jose Mourinho (Portugal)
Altogether, Real Madrid will participate in three games in the United States, including a trip to Lincoln Financial Field on July 23 to take on the Philadelphia Union. Prior to their visit to Philadelphia, Madrid will make two additional stops on the West Coast—one to face LA Galaxy at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on July 16 and another to square off against Chivas de Guadalajara at San Diego’s Qualcomm Stadium on July 20.
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.
Tickets are available to the general public HERE or by phone at 800-745-3000. For more information about the 2011 Herbalife World Football Challenge, please visit www.WorldFootballChallenge.com.