The march toward the 2018 Florida Cup continues today as tournament officials unveiled the next three clubs that will participate in the fourth annual event. Legendary Dutch side PSV Eindhoven will make its debut in the Florida Cup, joining 2016 tournament champions Clube Atlético Mineiro of Brazil’s Serie A and Barcelona S.C. of Ecuador, which is returning for its second Florida Cup.
“The list of teams for the 2018 Florida Cup is first class, featuring premier clubs from Europe and South America, and international stars,” said Florida Cup CEO Ricardo Villar. “We want to kick off the Year of Soccer in the most exciting way possible, including featuring a number of players who will represent their countries at the FIFA World Cup in Russia. More importantly, we want to deliver the highest caliber of professional soccer for passionate fans here in Central Florida and around the world. The 2017 edition of the Florida Cup was broadcast to more than 140 countries and more than 50 million people, and we plan to build upon that success in January, once again drawing the soccer world’s attention to Orlando.”
The Florida Cup will continue to unveil participating clubs via social media at the tournament’s Facebook account, culminating with a major announcement in Orlando on October 9 to release full event details including the match schedule, venues, travel packages and more. Fans and media are encouraged to register for real-time updates at www.floridacup.com.
Florida’s largest annual celebration of international soccer will take place January 10 – 20, and feature eight of the world’s premier clubs from Europe and South America, as well as first class music and entertainment for residents and tens of thousands of tourists alike. The following clubs will join already confirmed Scottish Premier League side Rangers Football Club, Brazil’s league leader and returning for the fourth time to the Florida Cup, Sport Club Corinthians Paulista, and perennial Colombian powerhouse Club Atlético Nacional. Participating teams will start to arrive in Florida on January 6.
· PSV Eindhoven have a strong history of success and an impressive list of honors. They clinched the Dutch title for the first time in 1929, were crowned champions a total of 23 times and lifted the KNVB Beker nine times. PSV have also won the national Super Cup 10 times. The club has participated in European competitions since 1974, winning the 1978 UEFA Cup with star Willy van der Kuylen. It was the start of a new period of successes as the 80’s saw PSV´s claim even more hardware – clinching the Dutch title six times between 1986 and 1992 and the KNVB Beker three times in that period. There is a long list of players who have conquered the world with or via PSV. Among them are the Brazilians Rómario and Ronaldo, who started their route to glory in Eindhoven. Ruud Gullit, World Player of the Year in 1987 and 1989, is the biggest Dutch star who played in the red and white of PSV. Phillip Cocu –the current coach at PSV-, Ruud van Nistelrooy and Arjen Robben are other legends of the game with a successful spell at PSV.
“We are very proud that PSV is the first Dutch club to be part of the Florida Cup,” said Sporting Director Marcel Brands. “It’s always interesting to play on an international stage, because it helps players to develop themselves. In Florida we meet good clubs in very good circumstances. I am sure for us it’s a perfect build up to the second phase of our league. It’s an honor and a fantastic challenge for us to come to Florida this January.”
· The Clube Atlético Mineiro, or just Atlético or Galo (the Rooster), is one of the most popular clubs in Brazil, based in Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais State. Galo has won the 2013 Copa Libertadores, the 2014 Recopa Sudamericana, and the 2014 Brazil Cup. Atlético is also a returning champion of the Florida Cup, securing that title in 2016. With over four million rabid fans, Atlético is a regular favorite to win the tournament and capture its second Florida Cup title.
Club President Daniel Nepomuceno stated: “It is a pleasure to participate in another edition of the Florida Cup. This event features various international clubs, which enhances Atlético’s brand and opens new markets. We were very well received in the past two years thanks to the large number of Galo fans in the United States, and we are proud to be at such a well-organized event alongside other major clubs from around the world."
· Barcelona S.C. is the most successful football team in Ecuador, having won the Serie A title a record 15 times, most recently in 2016. They are also the first Ecuadorian club to make it to the Copa Libertadores finals, having done so twice. Barcelona was founded on May 1, 1925, by Eutimio Pérez, a Spanish immigrant who named the club after his home city of Barcelona. This will be Barcelona’s second Florida Cup after a successful debut which drew thousands of loyal supporters from around the U.S. and Latin America.
El “Ídolo” as it is known in Ecuador, Barcelona SC has the largest supporter base in its country as 70 percent of the population are fans. Currently, the Club is participating in the Copa Libertadores 2017, where it has already eliminated powerful Argentine side Estudiantes de la Plata, Atlético Nacional of Colombia and Brazilian sides Botafogo, Palmeiras and Santos. Barcelona S.C. will face Gremio in the semi-finals.
Carlos Alfaro Moreno, former player and the club’s Vice President of Sport, said Barcelona S.C. is thrilled to participate once again in the Florida Cup. “We had a wonderful experience this past January playing in the Florida Cup. The opportunity to match up against top clubs from Europe and the Americas, increases our level of play and we now have a major responsibility for the 2018 edition. Our goal is to win the Florida Cup for all our thousands of fans that will return to support us in Florida.
About The Florida Cup:
The Florida Cup is the largest international soccer celebration held annually in Florida. It is a global platform that combines sports and entertainment. Broadcast live in 2017 to over 140 countries, the tournament reached over 50 million viewers. Globally recognized soccer clubs from Europe and Latin America will convene in Central Florida for this premier tournament – a final tune-up before the start of their respective campaigns and the kickoff for a World Cup year. For more information on the Florida Cup, visit www.floridacup.com, or follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
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For Florida Cup: Lenny Santiago | (386) 451-5809 | firstname.lastname@example.org