It's a preseason tournament for the world's biggest clubs, and yes, Leicester City are in it.
Leicester are now among the world's footballing powers after winning the Premier League back in May and will contest football's best at the International Champions Cup this summer beginning Saturday, July 23 against Celtic in Glasgow.
A total of 17 teams including six European domestic champions and Champions League winners Real Madrid are poised to compete across Europe, North America, Australia and China from July 22 - August 13 with the champions of England set to face three other league winners in Celtic, Paris Saint-Germain and Barcelona. After facing Celtic in Glasgow on Saturday, the Foxes will move across the pond to the home of the LA Galaxy at the StubHub Center in Carson, California to face Ligue 1 champions PSG on July 30 (sans Zlatan Ibrahimovic, of course) before wrapping up ICC play against Barcelona in Stockholm on August 3.
That's a pretty star-studded tournament for a team who teetered on the edge of relegation 14 months ago.
Oh, and Charlie Stillitano will be there. You know, the guy who said Leicester doesn't deserve Champions League football despite rolling over the Premier League by 10 points? Yeah, that guy. Having Leicester in his tournament as a tune-up for their historic first Champions League campaign isn't ideal for the American business man who held talks earlier in the year with England's biggest clubs including the likes of Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United about the formation of a European Super League.
Manager Claudio Ranieri and his side will certainly relish the opportunity to fine-tune their game against some of the world's best ahead of what is the club's biggest season in their history with Champions League football around the corner. Teams are contractually obligated to play their stars in order to help with the draw of the tournament, so expect some big names to line up against Leicester.
It will also be important for Ranieri to include a healthy dose of rotation in his side over the next three matches. Along with the increase in skill that comes with the Champions League, a huge part of adapting to competing in Europe is mental as the pressure and atmosphere amps up. Exposing players that are less-seasoned to the big competitions, crowds and opponents is instrumental to how successful Leicester can be this season.
OFFICIAL | International Champions Cup schedule. Barcelona face Leicester, Liverpool and Celtic. pic.twitter.com/dyGX8maTol— Xavi Edition (@XaviEdition) March 22, 2016