The Lopetegui era began on June 14, when the Basque coach was officially presented as the new Real Madrid manager. And soon after he swapped his suit for a tracksuit and got to work at the club’s Valdebebas training ground.
The players will return to training on July 17 (perhaps minus a few names due to World Cup duties) and for 10 days will be put through their paces before heading across the Atlantic for the preseason tour of the US and Mexico.
‘Los Blancos’ will play four games ahead of their meeting with Atlético Madrid in the European Supercup on 15 August. Below you will find Real Madrid’s pre-season schedule before LaLiga Santander kicks off on the weekend of 18-19 August.
Puebla – 28 July (Friendly)
The first game under Lopetegui will take place 9,020 kilometers from Madrid in Puebla, Mexico. Puebla FC will host the Champions League winners at the 51,700-seater Cuathémoc Stadium for a friendly game, which will be the club’s first on Mexican soil in more than 28 years (the last game was in June, 1990 against Veracruz). After this, ‘Los Blancos’ fly to Miami to begin the International Champions Cup.
Manchester United – 1 August (International Champions Cup)
Real Madrid start their tour of the US against Manchester United at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, home of the Miami Dolphins (kick off at 02:00 CEST). Real Madrid fans will already be acquainted with the 66,000-seater stadium, as it was the scene of ‘El Clásico’ pre-season fixture last summer. Despite being a preseason friendly, it will be a fascinating game, mainly because any reencounter with former Real coach Jose Mourinho will always be attractive and of huge media interest; but also because of the reported interest United have shown in several Madrid players, namely Gareth Bale, Toni Kroos and Mateo Kovacic.
Juventus – 5 August (International Champions Cup)
Five days later, the FedEx Field in Maryland, the 82-000 seater home of the Washington Redskins, will host the International Champions Cup fixture between Real Madrid and Juventus. Both teams face off again following the controversial second leg of Champions League quarter final in the Bernabeu, when several Juventus players remonstrated with referee Michael Oliver for his late penalty decision in favor of Real Madrid, leading the English official to sending off goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon for his heated outburst. Interestingly, Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri will face what could have been his Real Madrid team. The Italian turned down an offer from Florentino Perez to replace Zinedine Zidane in June, in favor of staying on in Turin.
Roma – 8 August (International Champions Cup)
Real’s last stop on the US tour will be at the 83,000-capacity MetLife Stadium in New Jersey, home of the Giants and the Jets. There they will face Roma, two years after playing Bayern Munich in the same stadium. The games kicks off at 02:00 CEST for European-based Real Madrid fans willing to stay up to see Lopetegui’s men face the Italian outfit.
Atlético Madrid – 15 August (European Supercup)
One week after they close the US tour, Real Madrid will play the first competitive fixture under Lopetegui when they take on local rivals Atlético in the European Supercup at the Lillekulla Arena, Tallin, Estonia (kick off 21:00 CEST). All of the pre-season training and work under the new coach will culminate in what is bound to be an intense and fiercely fought derby; and three days later, fans can look forward to the kick off the LaLiga 2018-19 season.
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