Sir Alex Ferguson says Manchester United’s pre-season fixtures against Barcelona, Manchester City and Real Madrid will provide the perfect preparation for big games next season.
United will travel to the United States for their summer tour, with two friendlies against LA Galaxy and Real Salt Lake before International Champions Cup (ICC) fixtures against Premier League rivals City and both Spanish sides.
United, who will also play Valerenga and Sampdoria at the start of August, will return to the Champions League next season after winning the Europa League and Ferguson says it is important for Jose Mourinho’s side to face the best in the world ahead of the new campaign.
“The great thing about United is you’ve got to accept the challenge of beating the best,” Ferguson told the club’s official website..
“The expectation is always there and the matches we’ll face in the ICC are all big ones. It’s very good for the younger players to come into this type of competition in terms of preparing to be a Manchester United player.
“The more intense the challenge they can get, the better prepared they will be when facing Manchester City in an important league match or Real Madrid or Barcelona in Europe.
“The preparation to play in games as big as that can be started in pre-season tournaments like the ICC, which is fantastic.”
United’s game against Real Madrid in 2014 attracted a record crowd for a football match in the US, with 109,318 in attendance for the friendly fixture and Ferguson expects fans to come out in big numbers again this summer.
“Every time we come to the States we get a full house and that tells you everything,” Ferguson added.