Will St. Louisans get to see incredibly sexy soccer player Cristiano Ronaldo this August? Despite transfer rumors, it's looking like the second-highest paid and second-best player in the world will be here.
(Update, July 10: Ronaldo is reportedly soon to be the highest-paid soccer player in the world.)
Portuguese international Ronaldo should appear with his Real Madrid side when the Spanish giant comes to St. Louis for an August 10 pre-season friendly at the Edward Jones Dome. In a city that lost its most-sexy player to Los Angeles this past December, Ronaldo could help fill the gaping hole left since the Cardinal skipped town.
- "Blasphemous!" Cardinals Fans Outraged By "Horrible Idea" of Soccer at Busch Stadium
- Man City v. Chelsea: St. Louisans Desperately Search Craigslist for Soccer Tix
- Why You Should Care about the Man City vs. Chelsea F.C. Soccer Match at Busch
Yet, even before the 2012-2013 La Liga (the top-flight Spanish league) season was over, rumors were swirling that Ronaldo would depart for his former club, Manchester United, in the English Premier League. But news out today states that Real Madrid's new manager -- Carlo Ancelotti -- wants to keep Ronaldo around for one more season: "My opinion is easy. Ronaldo's a fantastic, marvellous player," he reportedly said. (Former Real manager José Mourinho -- who moved to Chelsea F.C., which played at Busch Stadium in May -- clashed with Ronaldo.)
The news announced at today's press conference (statement below) at the Edward Jones Dome makes no mention of Ronaldo by name, but fleshes out the tie: It'll be Real Madrid against Inter Milan, who finished in the middle of the Serie A (the top-flight Italian league) table last season.
"Relevent Sports and the St. Louis Convention & Visitors Commission today announced that Real Madrid and F.C. Internazionale, better known as Inter, will meet August 10 at 1 p.m., Central Time, at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis, Missouri. The match will mark the first men's soccer match at the Edward Jones Dome, which previously featured the U.S. Women's national team in 2007."
Below's a sampling of Ronaldo's footwork -- and like every other soccer highlights video on YouTube, this one has a kickin' dance-club soundtrack:
Real Madrid is also looking at arguably the best player in the English Premier League, Welshman Gareth Bale of London club Tottenham Hotspur. Bale scored the best goals in the world last season, and the prospect, no matter how unlikely, of seeing them both on the same field before most is something that should appeal to even the most ardent haters of the game.
Here's Bale in action. Again, enjoy the bottle-service soundtrack:
And for those looking for a St. Louis link to all this international soccer, you're out of luck for at least another year: Rams owner Stan Kroenke, who also is majority owner of Arsenal F.C. in London, again sees his team do another tour of Asia this summer.
See the full press release from the St. Louis Convention and Visitors Commission on the next page.
Relevent Sports and the St. Louis Convention & Visitors Commission are proud to announce that Real Madrid and F.C. Internazionale, better known as Inter, will meet August 10 at 1 p.m. at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis. The match would mark the first men's soccer match at the Edward Jones Dome, which previously a match featuring the U.S. Women's national team in 2007.
Tickets will be available at Ticketmaster with prices ranging from $40-$225. Presale begins at noon on Friday, June 28, 2013; general sales begin Monday, July 1, 2013.
Real Madrid and Inter are two of the world's most recognizable and successful clubs. The Spanish giants have won a record 32 Spanish La Liga titles, 19 Copa del Rey titles and nine European championships. Real Madrid features some of the game's bigger stars including Cristiano Ronaldo, Sergio Ramos and Mesut Ozil and recently hired Italian coach Carlo Ancelotti.
Inter has won a total of 18 Italian Serie A titles, seven Coppa Italia titles and three European Championships. The club is currently coached by Walter Mazzarri and features top players Esteban Cambiasso, Fredy Guarin and Samir Handanovic.
The Edward Jones Dome will be prepared for soccer by installing a natural turf field configured for 67,000 spectators including 96 premium field seats.
Both clubs will travel to St. Louis following their participation in the 2013 Guinness International Champions Cup. The inaugural edition of the tournament will be played in six American cities from July 27 to August 7 and also features Chelsea, Everton, A.C. Milan, Juventus, Valencia and the LA Galaxy. The tournament finals will be played on August 6 and 7 at Miami's Sun Life Stadium. For more information please go to www.internationalchampionscup.com.
The match also comes on the heels of a match between English clubs Manchester City and Chelsea on May 23 put on by Relevent Sports and the St. Louis Cardinals. The match, the first soccer event at Busch Stadium, drew a sold-out crowd of 48,263 fans.
Follow @nicklucchesi on Twitter