You don’t have to travel halfway around the world to see many of the biggest names in international soccer. Just come to Walt Disney World Resort in January.
Several marquee soccer stars from Latin America and Europe will be here for the second annual Florida Cup soccer tournament at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. Some of the elite players expected to play in the tournament include Chicharito Hernandez, the Mexican National team star playing for Bayer Leverkusen, Brazilian soccer legend Ronaldinho, who is playing for Fluminense FC and Renato Augusto, the reigning Brazil League MVP who leads SC Corinthians, plus Santa Fe’s Omar Perez and SC Internacional’s Anderson.
That’s quite likely the most significant collection of international soccer talent ever in Central Florida. In fact, the field is noticeably larger than last year, expanding from four teams to nine and featuring top clubs such as two-time FIFA World Champion SC Corinthians, four-time Brazilian Champion Fluminense FC and Champions League club Bayer 04 Leverkusen.
The action starts January 10 with a doubleheader at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex between Santa Fe (Colombia) and Bayer (Germany) followed by Schalke (Germany) against the Fort Lauderdale Strikers. The tourney continues through January 20 with matches taking place at Florida venues such as Boca Raton and Fort Lauderdale in addition to Walt Disney World Resort.
The tournament also will involve a panel discussion featuring club and league representatives discussing a variety of soccer-related topics, including youth development, sports marketing and global league structures, among other subjects.
Tickets, which start at $35, are available for all matches at all Ticketmaster outlets, including Ticketmaster.com. Check out www.floridacup.com for the schedule, plus other information, and get yourself close to the action.