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City to face Real Madrid in Melbourne

City will compete in Melbourne next year in the most significant football event ever hosted in the country - the International Champions Cup Australia, presented by Audi.

Next year Nine Live, TLA Worldwide and RSE Ventures will bring three of the top football teams in the world, including City and Real Madrid, to Australia.

The tournament will include three premium matches at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in July 2015 with the competition draw and match dates to be released upon announcement of the third and final competing team.

This major international event is expected to bring football and sporting enthusiasts from all around Australia and the Asia-Pacific region to Melbourne for the events, and will be broadcast to more than 150 countries.

City manager Manuel Pellegrini expressed his excitement about the trip at a press conference, declaring: "I think it is important for this Club to go to Australia.

"Firstly, because we have a sister club there and I think is a country where they like football and to play with teams like Real Madrid there is very important.

We are also going to make our training camp there. It is not that we are going to fly 12 hours to play a game. We are going to stay few days there so the distance is not a problem.

Ferran Soriano, Chief Executive of Manchester City FC, echoed: "We are looking forward, once again, to being a part of the ICC.

"We are particularly excited to be visiting Melbourne, which is home to our sister Club, Melbourne City FC. We know that it will also be a home away from home for Manchester City and we can't wait to play in front of our Australian fans."

Geoff Jones, Nine Live CEO, stated: "We look forward to making the ICC a major fixture in the Asia-Pacific region and are confident it will be a huge success in Melbourne, as it is in the United States.

"Already, waitlist registrations through Ticketek have doubled since last week’s announcement, and I expect Manchester City’s involvement to trigger a similarly strong response from fans."

Bart Campbell, Chairman of TLA Worldwide, added: "We are delighted to be bringing the world’s most widely followed clubs and famous brands including current Barclays Premier League champions Manchester City to Melbourne."

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Matt Higgins, RSE Ventures CEO, said: "This event continues to fulfil fans’ demand for competitive football during the European summer, and bringing games to Melbourne shows the truly global reach of the tournament.

"We look forward to hundreds of thousands of fans packing the MCG next year."

The third and final competing team, plus match details and ticketing information, will be announced in the coming weeks. Until then, sports fans should join the Ticketek waitlist to ensure they are the first to hear new information as it is released.

Telstra will offer an exclusive 48-hour pre-sale opportunity commencing 9.00AM AEDT on Wednesday 10 December for its customers via the Telstra Thanks loyalty program.

ICC revolutionised the international soccer landscape in 2013, transforming the traditional European club pre-season tour of ad hoc exhibition games into an annual competitive tournament. In 2014, the competition was played in the United States and Canada.

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