Real Madrid C.F. v Paris Saint-Germain

International Champions Cup

Wednesday 27th July 2016

Kick off 19.30 Actual 19.35

Real Madrid C.F. 1 Paris Saint-Germain 3,  attendance 86,641

2′ 0-1 J. Ikone

35′ 0-2 T. Meunier

40′ 0-3 T. Meunier

44′ 1-3 Marcelo (pen)

@ Ohio Stadium

411, Woody Hayes Drive

Columbus, OH 43210

Admission $60 + $10.80 fees, Print at home ticket.

No programme.

The cost of doing a return flight to Columbus, Ohio was extortionate, as was flying into here and dropping a hire car elsewhere, so I flew into Detroit, Michigan, as I would be doing a game near here on Saturday anyway. Therefore, instead of just doing games on Wednesday and Saturday, it was now a 4 day trip, so I needed games to fill in the blank days. First up it was a  190 mile drive south to Columbus.

Ronaldo, Bale, Benzema, Ramos, Modric, Kroos, Rodriguez, Pepe…….the names roll off the tongue. Sadly, none of these played, due to a combination of injuries and being rested following the Euro 2016 and Copa America Centenario tournaments over the summer. When these big name European clubs tour other continents they are just doing it to make money and have little regard for the paying public. I would be very surprised if any of the Americans would have recognised any more than three of the Real Madrid players, although most probably wouldn’t have heard of any of the missing eight either. Yes, I know it’s only a friendly, but a real public relations exercise is missed here. Funny how all the adverts in the media leading up to the match were using the top stars to sell it, even though there is little chance of them even turning up, let alone playing.

The Real Madrid fringe players were no match for a P.S.G. side that approached the game more seriously. It was a good open first half, but dreadful second as the Madrid reserves were replaced with even lesser names, except for perhaps Martin Odegaard.

Ohio Stadium is home to the Ohio State University Buckeyes American Football team and is also known as ‘The Horseshoe’ due to its shape. It was used by Columbus Crew, of the M.L.S. for two years prior to the opening of Columbus Crew Stadium in 1999. It has a 104,944 capacity, with the record attendance of 108,975 set in 2015.

Organisation around the stadium was absolutely dreadful and despite only being 7 miles from my hotel, it took over 2 hours to get there. Once nearing the stadium there were so many roads closed off it became absolute chaos, as they tried to channel everyone towards the car parks. In the end I parked on the front of a small shop/garage frontage, where they were much more organised and only charging $20. It was about 15 minutes walk to the stadium from here, but after the game it was a case of turning right at the first traffic lights and heading north.

One thing that was impressive though, was the crowd. A new high for me for a friendly match, although I somehow think this will be short lived.