International Champions Cup: Leicester City to join Chelsea, Barcelona and Real Madrid in prestigous pre-season tournament

Joe Hall
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Leicester City v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League
World famous: Leicester will join the European elite in the pre-season tournament (Source: Getty)

Leicester City may still have seven games left in which to win the Premier League title, but they have already hit the big time after being invited to join Barcelona, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich in a pre-season tournament this summer.

The unlikely league leaders will join the European elite in the 2016 International Champions Cup, a pre-season tournament held in Europe and America.

Claudio Ranieri's team, who currently lead the Premier League by five points, will play Celtic in Glasgow on Saturday July 23, Paris Saint-Germain in Los Angeles on July 30 and Barcelona in Stockholm on Wednesday August 3.

Read more: Leicester's owner will be able to sell club for more than 10 times what he paid for it if Foxes win the league

The globe-trotting schedule marks a stark change from Leicester's low-key preparations for this season, in which the Foxes were the only Premier League side not to play abroad.

Inter Milan, Bayern Munich, Chelsea, Real Madrid, Liverpool and AC Milan will also take part in the event organised by American company Relevent Sports.

Relevent chairman Charlie Stillitano was criticised earlier this month after inferring that teams such as Manchester United could compete in the Champions League at the expense of teams such as Leicester.

"What would Manchester United argue: did we create soccer or did Leicester create [it]?" said Stillitano.

"Let's call it the money pot created by soccer and the fandom around the world. Who has had more of an integral role, Manchester United or Leicester? It's a wonderful, wonderful story - but you could see it from Manchester United's point of view, too."

Leicester chief executive Susan Whelan said the club's invitation reflected "the significant impression the club is making on an international audience".

"The ICC is a great opportunity to compete with some of Europe’s leading clubs and to further promote the Club, and the city of Leicester, around the world," said Whelan.

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