Roma fans will have three blockbuster games to look forward to as Eusebio Di Francesco’s side face Tottenham in San Diego on July 25, Barcelona in Arlington Texas on July 31 and finish with a game against Real Madrid in New Jersey on August 7.
It has been rumored for months, but now it is official. On August 1 in Atlanta, Juventus FC, champions of Italy’s Serie A for the last six seasons and UEFA Champions League finalists in 2015 and 2017, will face the best in MLS in the 2018 MLS All-Star Game.
Pre-season games can be difficult for European teams to bring their best players to America, but with Italy not participating in this summer World Cup in Russia, almost all of Juve’s stars will be in Atlanta this summer.
The Champions League semi-final draw was made on Friday and it ensured that one of this season’s cinderella sides, Liverpool or Roma will be in the final in Kiev as they were drawn against each other, in a rematch of the 1984 European Cup Final that Liverpool won 1-0.
Two heavyweights in the draw, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich will meet in the other semi-final. The first leg will be the 25th match between the sides, making it the most played fixture in UEFA club competition. It will also be the sides’ seventh semi-final meeting. Bayern have won four to Real Madrid’s two so far.
Arsenal have been drawn against Atletico Madrid in the Europa League semi-finals.
The Gunners booked their place in the final four with a nervy 6-3 aggregate win over CSKA Moscow on Thursday evening, drawing 2-2 on the night in Russia.
Victory in the competition represents Arsenal’s only serious chance of qualifying for the Champions League next season, with the north London club sitting in sixth place in the Premier League.
In the other semi-final tie, Olympique Marseille face FC Red Bull Salzburg, who both advanced following fine comeback wins over RB Leipzig and Lazio respectively.
Juventus president Andrea Agnelli blasted Michael Oliver after the English referee awarded Real Madrid a stoppage-time penalty on Wednesday evening.
Two goals from Mario Mandzukic and another by Blaise Matuidi had put Juventus 3-0 up on the night and heading for extra-time after levelling the two-legged Champions League quarter-final at 3-3 on aggregate.
But Premier League referee Oliver awarded Real a late spot-kick for a Medhi Benatia’s foul on Lucas Vazquez, before sending off Juve goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon for his reaction to the decision.
Cristiano Ronaldo converted the resultant spot-kick past substitute stopper Wojciech Szczesny to send Real into the last four and leave Agnelli fuming.
Massimiliano Allegri believes his heartbroken Juventus side deserved extra time against Real Madrid, but refused to comment on the huge penalty incident involving English referee Michael Oliver.
Juventus had pulled back a three-goal deficit on one of the biggest nights of Champions League action ever at the Bernabeu, only for Cristiano Ronaldo to score a 97th-minute penalty to knock the Italians out.
The away side were furious, with legendary goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon sent off for dissent in the aftermath, but Allegri opted not to comment on Oliver’s decision.
‘I don’t want to judge what the referee did,’ the Juventus boss told Mediaset Premium.
Gianluigi Buffon has labelled Michael Oliver heartless after the English referee’s controversial awarding of a stoppage-time penalty against Juventus, which allowed Real Madrid to advance to the Champions League semi-finals at the Italians’ expense.
Juventus had clawed back a three-goal first-leg deficit at the Bernabeu and were set to take the tie to extra time. But in the 93rd minute, Oliver awarded Madrid a spot-kick for Mehdi Benatia’s challenge on Lucas Vazquez, from which Cristiano Ronaldo scored to seal a 4-3 aggregate victory.
Buffon fumed at Oliver following the decision and was sent off for his aggressive reaction, which saw him scream and point his glove in the referee’s face.
Di Francesco took a huge gamble in the Champions League quarter-final second leg, lining his Roma team up in a 3-4-1-2 formation, but his decision paid off as the Giallorossi sensationally overturned their 4-1 deficit.
“It’s a night to remember, first of all for the fans. They’re all happy for Roma,” the sporting director told Roma TV after the game.
“Football was fair Roma, there were many incidents and they weren’t fair. The punishment we received in Barcelona wasn’t fair.
Former Manchester City forward Edin Dzeko was the hero. He got the first and it was his away goal at the Camp Nou that sent Roma through on an extraordinary night.
Barcelona fell behind after just six minutes when Daniele De Rossi lofted a perfect pass from deep midfield into the path of Edin Dzeko and after a couple of touches he put it past Marc-Andre ter Stegen.
This summer AC Milan will once again travel to the USA to take part in the 2018 International Champions Cup pre-season tournament.
“It is great to be going back to the United States,” said Mauro Tassotti of the Rossoneri. “I know how much the players love playing in this country.
“They get to train in great facilities and everyone is very welcoming. It is very important for us to be facing such great clubs.”
This year’s International Champions Cup features the most storied and successful clubs in the world, including many of the world’s top players. The participant list includes Real Madrid, Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester City, Liverpool, Manchester United, Chelsea, Paris Saint-Germain, Arsenal, Sevilla, Borussia Dortmund, Benfica and Atletico Madrid.