In the summer of 2013, Stephen M. Ross and Relevent Sports revolutionized the international soccer landscape by organizing the Guinness International Champions Cup (ICC), transforming the standard European club preseason tour into something remarkable: a competitive, world-class tournament.
The inaugural edition featured eight top clubs across six U.S. cities - Real Madrid, Juventus, Chelsea FC, Inter Milan, AC Milan, Valencia, Everton and the LA Galaxy - culminating with a spectacular final in Miami won by Real Madrid over Chelsea FC in front of nearly 70,000 fans.
The 2014 International Champions Cup raised the bar, doubling in size across 13 cities in the United States and Canada. Featuring another star-studded lineup, European powerhouses Real Madrid, Manchester United, Liverpool, Manchester City, A.C. Milan, Roma, Inter Milan and Olympiacos played three matches each in a new round-robin format.
Group play was highlighted by a U.S. record-breaking crowd of 109,318 fans at the University of Michigan's "Big House" as Manchester United defeated Real Madrid in the largest soccer match in U.S. history. More than 631,000 fans attended the tournament, with a global audience of over 80 million tuned in throughout 150 countries. ICC 2014 concluded with an all-English final as Manchester United capped off an undefeated tournament with a 3-1 victory over Liverpool at Sun Life Stadium in Miami, FL.
2015 began the International Champions Cup’s global expansion, with the tournament kicking off three team editions in both Australia and in China. The round robin tournament at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in Melbourne, Australia featured 2013 ICC champions Real Madrid and 2014 participants Manchester City and AS Roma, and was won by Real Madrid. The Spanish side continued their winning ways in China, playing 2014 ICC participants AC Milan and Inter Milan with games in Shenzhen, Guangzhou, and Shanghai. In addition to the Melbourne and China based competitions, the 2015 International Champions Cup North America, held across 11 cities, included Manchester United, FC Barcelona, Chelsea FC, SL Benfica, ACF Fiorentina, Club América, the LA Galaxy, the New York Red Bulls, the San Jose Earthquakes, and eventual champions Paris Saint-Germain.
In 2016 the tournament returned with editions in North America/Europe, Australia and China. Paris Saint-Germain once again lifted the ICC trophy as matches were played in the United States, Sweden, Ireland, Scotland and England. Highlights included the 105,826 fans that packed the “Big House” in Michigan as Real Madrid defeated Chelsea 3-2. A week later Liverpool beat FC Barcelona 4-0 front of 89,845 fans as part of the second largest attendance in Wembley Stadium history.
In China, Manchester United, Manchester City and Borussia Dortmund faced off while Juventus won the title in Australia. Juventus beat out Atletico de Madrid, Tottenham Hotspur and the Melbourne Victory to lift the trophy with all matches played in Melbourne.