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La Liga confirm pre-season tournament featuring Girona and Melbourne City in India

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This will be the first pre-season tournament of its kind to take place in India.

Earlier on Tuesday, La Liga confirmed the much-awaited pre-season tournament in India, featuring Spanish side Girona, Australian outfit Melbourne City and Kerala Blasters.

Australian A-League side Melbourne City FC, La Liga side Girona FC will battle it against hosts Kerala Blasters in the Toyota Yaris Pre-season tournament at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Kochi between July 24-28.

Melbourne City were impressive in their last league campaign as they finished third and qualified for the final round of the A-League. With manager Warren Joyce, a former Wigan and Manchester United reserves tactician at the helm, the Aussies will be the team to beat. On the other hand, Girona who were recently promoted to Spain's elite division have already gathered all the headlines after Eusebio Sacristán's men came up with a lot of upsets, especially defeating Real Madrid and finishing 10th in La Liga.

"It is an honor for our club to participate in this tournament in Indio. For Girona FC it will be a special experience as it will be the first time our team has played away from Europe since its foundation 88 years ago. We are looking forward to starting the tournament and showing the football that we've displayed in LaLiga to the Indian football fans and the world," Girona FC President Delfi Geli said.

This seems to be the best way to start pre-season for the Blasters after their disappointing season in the ISL, where they finished sixth. David James and his men will look for a turnaround in fortunes in the upcoming season and this pre-season will be the best possible way to start for the southerners. 




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La Liga Ambassador and Spanish Legend, Fernando Morientes, who unveiled the tournament trophy, speaking on behalf of La Liga said “It gives me immense pleasure to be a part of such a historic moment. Pre-season tournaments are the best preparatory ground for a club to prepare for the season ahead."

"I remember how playing pre-season friendlies helped me identify the areas that I needed to work upon and be better prepared," he asserted.

"I would like to wish all the very best to all participants and am looking forward to a closely-contested tournament," Morientes added.

The CEOs of the three participating clubs were very delighted to be a part of the tournament as Blasters CEO Varun Tripuraneni said, “This will be a perfect start to our pre-season preparations as we play against two international clubs of great repute. It will be a treat for football fans in Kochi and we are expecting the crowd to come out in large numbers and enjoy some high-quality football.”

"We ore delighted to participate in the Toyota Yaris LaLiga World. Playing against Kera/a Blasters, one of the top teams in India and the LaLiga club, Girona FC will be an exciting prospect. I believe that this will be a great preparation for our team Melbourne City FC ahead of our upcoming season," Melbourne City FC CEO Scott Munn said.

James will hope that his team use the opportunity to play with these quality sides to good effect and will also look to prepare themselves for the upcoming Indian football season. 

Tickets are available on Paytm.

Published: Thu Jul 12, 2018 01:47 PM IST

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