USA record crowd watches Manchester United vs Real Madrid in Michigan | inside World Soccer

USA record crowd watches Manchester United vs Real Madrid in Michigan

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Manchester United's friendly against Real Madrid on Saturday set a new record for a football match in the USA with a crowd of 109,318 watching the highly-anticipated pre-season friendly.

The appeal of two of the world's most iconic sports teams attracted fans to the International Champions Cup match at the University of Michigan's American football stadium in Ann Arbor.

The figure toppled the number set by the 1984 Olympics final, when 101,799 saw France face Brazil at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California.

The previous record for a club match in the USA was set by a 2009 friendly between Barcelona and the Los Angeles Galaxy at the Rose Bowl, which drew 93,137 spectators.

The largest crowd ever to watch a football match was at the 1950 World Cup final in Rio de Janeiro when 173,850 paying spectators came to the Maracanã for the Brazil and Uruguay clash, though unofficial estimates put the attendance as high as 210,000.

"It's not every day we get to play in front of a crowd like that," said Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti.

"We tried to do our best to give joy to the people. The game, in general, was a good game."

The crowd even got an added bonus when Cristiano Ronaldo made a surprise appearance for the last 16 minutes, having been ruled out of contention before the match with what was reported to be an injured left knee.

But United would go on to beat the reigning Champions League winners by a score of 1-3.

"Three hundred thousand fans have watched us already, that's amazing," United boss Louis van Gaal said. "The atmosphere was fantastic."

United defender Michael Keane added: "That was incredible. Obviously, it is the biggest crowd I've ever played in front of, and it is for a friendly in the States.

"I've always heard they don't care for our football, but there were 109,000 people out there. That's pretty crazy anywhere in the world."


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