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The match on Wednesday represents a meeting of the two most successful teams in European Cup history, as Real Madrid has won the cup on nine occasions (1956-60, ‘66, ’98, 2000, ’02) while A.C. Milan has been crowned champion of Europe seven times (1963, ’69, ’89, ‘90, ’94, 2003, ’07).
Earlier this summer on July 22, the 2012 European champion, Chelsea FC, and French Ligue 1 favorites Paris Saint-Germain played to a 1-1 tie in front of 38,202 fans in the first-ever soccer match at the current Yankee Stadium. Prior to the match, Rivera took part in the coin toss ceremony with Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard and PSG defender Christophe Jallet.
The current Yankee Stadium carries on the great soccer tradition of the original Yankee Stadium, which hosted some of the most famous teams in world soccer, including Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur, Barcelona, Juventus, Napoli, Celtic, Benfica and Sparta Prague, along with the national teams of England, Israel, Italy and the United States. Pele, who many consider the greatest player of all time, called the original Yankee Stadium home in 1976, when he played for the New York Cosmos of the North American Soccer League.
Both clubs appearing in the August 8 match previously played at the original Yankee Stadium. Real Madrid defeated the New York Generals of the National Professional Soccer League, 4-1, on August 21, 1968, and A.C. Milan won both of its matches, defeating Panathinaikos, 4-0, on June 27, 1969, as well as arch-rival Inter Milan, 6-4, just two days later.
The matches between Chelsea FC and Paris Saint-Germain, and Real Madrid and A.C. Milan, are part of the Herbalife World Football Challenge, which is taking place throughout North America from July 18 through August 11.