Can Kaka, Ronaldo and Benzema co-exist on the same football pitch?
The Peace Cup returns to the summer football schedule with the fourth edition of the event hosted by Spain. The first three Peace Cup’s were played in South Korea, and the event is usually played every other year.
This year’s marquee story will of course be the addition of Real Madrid to the Peace Cup. The Spanish giants have been in the news all season with the addition of Kaka, Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema to the squad. The moves by Florentino Perez were made in the hopes of building a new version of the Galacticos for the future. The tournament will give viewers the chance to see just how well the three superstars play when they’re on the same team.
Aston Villa, Juventus and Sevilla will try topple Madrid and show the rest of the world that the richest squad in football isn’t worth the hype.
2009 Peace Cup Venues
6 venues will serve as hosts for this year’s event.
Santiago Bernabeu, 80,354
La Cartuja, 57,619
Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan, 45,500
La Rosaleda, 28,963
Estadio Colombino, 13,000
Spain is of course hosting this year’s Peace Cup, and two of the venues being used house some of Spain’s best clubs (Sevilla and Real Madrid). The venues range in size from 13,000 seats, all the way up to 80,354.
Peace Cup 2009 Fixtures
The Peace Cup commences on 24 July, followed by the semi-final round on 31 July. The final will be played at La Cartuja in Seville, Spain, on 2 August.
|Seongnam Ilhwa Chunma||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Sevilla||–||Juventus||La Cartuja, Seville|
|Sevilla||–||Seongnam Ilhwa Chunma||Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán, Seville|
|Juventus||–||Seongnam Ilhwa Chunma||Chapín, Jerez|
|LDU Quito||–||Al-Ittihad||Chapín, Jerez|
|Real Madrid||–||Al-Ittihad||Santiago Bernabéu, Madrid|
|Real Madrid||–||LDU Quito||Santiago Bernabéu, Madrid|
|Málaga||–||Aston Villa||La Rosaleda, Málaga|
|Málaga||–||Atlante||La Rosaleda, Málaga|
|Aston Villa||–||Atlante||La Rosaleda, Málaga|
|Lyon||–||Beşiktaş||Estadio Colombino, Huelva|
|Lyon||–||Porto||Estadio Colombino, Huelva|
|Beşiktaş||–||Porto||Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán, Seville|
|1st Group A||–||1st Group B||Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán, Seville|
|1st Group C||–||1st Group D||La Rosaleda, Málaga|
|Loser Semi 1||–||Loser Semi 2||Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán, Seville|
|Winner Semi 1||–||Winner Semi 2||La Cartuja, Seville|
2009 Peace Cup Predictions
Rules: The winner from each group will advance to the semi-final round. From there, the winner of each semi-final will advance to the final, with the losing clubs advancing to the Third Place match.
Group A: Sevilla, Juventus, Seongnam Ilhwa Chunma
Group B: Real Madrid, LDU Quito, Al-Ittihad
Group C: Malaga, Aston Villa, Atlante
Group D: Lyon, Besiktas, Porto
In Group A I fully expect the winner of the Sevilla/Juve match to advance to the semi-final round. It’s going to be hard to choose one over the other based on the fact that you really can’t predict who will be starting, so I’ll take Sevilla to advance with the home stadium behind them.
In Group B should be the most entertaining of the tournament. I’m sure the sponsors and tournament officials are over the moon knowing they’ll get the chance to showcase the most talked about club in the world. Ronaldo and Kaka should play, as should Benzema. I think you’ll see a squad that’s just trying to find their groove before the league campaign starts. Regardless, I think Real Madrid is a lock to advance.
In Group C look for Aston Villa to advance out of this group. The last time the Peace Cup was played back in 2007, Bolton managed to make it all the way to the final against Lyon. Whilst I wouldn’t say English clubs have a knack for making it to the final round, I will say that Villa’s style of play (and the English style in general) should prove to be too much for Malaga and Atlante.
In Group D look for 2007 Champions, Lyon, to advance to the semi-final round. Porto and Besiktas should prove to be great foils for a club that will surely be looking for a new identity without star striker Karim Benzema.
Predicted Semifinals: Juventus v Real Madrid and Aston Villa v Lyon
Predicted Final: The first semi-final should be an absolute cracker, with Real Madrid showcasing their superstar talent against Juve. I’ll take Real Madrid to get past one of the great keepers in the world (Buffon) and make it to the final with some considerable flare.
From there I think you’ll see a tough battle between Aston Villa and Lyon. Whilst I’d love to see Lyon go up against Benzema in the final, I think Villa’s duo of Agbonlahor and Young should prove to be too much for Lyon to handle.
Once again, I think you’ll see an English team in the final for the second straight time. Look for Real Madrid to push the tempo early and often and grab a goal in the first half match. From there I think you’ll see Villa press and give up on the counter late in the match. Whilst I really like Young against Madrid’s defence, I think Ronaldo, Kaka, Benzema, and the rest of the Madrid squad will prove to be too much for Villa’s backline.
Madrid’s summer splurge pays dividens with a summer Cup victory.