• The Championship

Bournemouth to host Ronaldo and co

ESPN staff
July 2, 2013 « Live County Championship coverage | Chartbeat test »
Cristiano Ronaldo may make a return to England - to play Bournemouth © PA Photos
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AFC Bournemouth will play host to Real Madrid in a prestige pre-season friendly later this month - but admission for non-season ticket-holders will be £60.

The club, managed by Eddie Howe, won automatic promotion to the Championship for the first time in 23 years last season and are billing the celebratory match at the Goldsands Stadium as "a one of a kind game".

A statement on the club's official website said: "Real Madrid superstars Mesut Ozil, Kaka and Cristiano Ronaldo will grace the Goldsands Stadium.

"The nine-time European Cup winners will kick off their pre-season schedule on the south coast of England ahead of matches against Olympique Lyonnais, Paris Saint-Germain and the 2013 International Champions Cup."

Chairman Eddie Mitchell said the game, being played on July 21 at 7.45pm, was a "well-earned gift" for the club's supporters and an "opportunity for us to put the town of Bournemouth on the map".

"Real Madrid are at the pinnacle of global sport, and to host them will be an honour for the squad, management and supporters of AFC Bournemouth," he added.

"We are honoured to have been handpicked by Real Madrid to be their hosts in this landmark moment for the Football League, and we will do everything to ensure the game goes down in history."

Emilio Butragueno, the institutional relations manager at Real Madrid, said the evening promised to be "a fantastic occasion for both clubs".

Butragueno added: "We are delighted that Real Madrid will play their first pre-season game on British soil, and we eagerly anticipate the challenge from our English opponents."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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