Real Madrid Vs. AC Milan, 2012 Pre-Season Open Thread: New York State Of Mind

LAS VEGAS, NV - AUGUST 05: Karim Benzema, #9 of Real Madrid CF controls the ball during the World Football Challenge match against Club Santos Laguna at Sam Boyd Stadium on August 5, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Real Madrid won 2-1. (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images)

Nothing like an Illmatic reference on a lovely, humid East Coast summer evening to set-off tonight's festivities here on Managing Madrid as los Blancos get ready to square off with a new-look AC Milan. The two European heavyweights continue their preseason preparations in Yankee Stadium as part of the World Football Challenge in a match that has generated a considerable buzz in the United States. For all of our readers outside of the States, it is hard to adequately convey a true sense of the weight and significance Yankee Stadium holds in American sports culture and, honestly, in our overall popular culture as well. Before the rise of the NFL--major league baseball was the American sport and the Yankees (like it or not) are one of our most cherished global brands and recognizable cultural exports. I write all of this only to emphasize that (in its own way) for a friendly this match is kind of a big deal and really pretty damn cool.

So without further ado here are the starting lineups according to ESPN:

Real Madrid:

Casillas, Varane, Pepe, Coentrao, Nacho, Khedira, Diarra, Ronaldo, Di Maria, Benzema and Ozil

Milan:

Abbiati, Acerbi, Bonera, Antonini, Abate, Ambrosini, Boateng, Flamini, Nocerino, Robinho and Cassano

I have to say that the absence of Ibra in Milan's line-up is nothing short of glaring, even though the Rossoneri have, in fact, won all of their matches on their North American tour thus far.

Alright, let's get ready! Please share your thoughts with us.

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