(ARCHIVE PHOTO: the Berlusconi Trophy)
MILAN – Emirates, Milan’s main sponsor, presents the 23rd edition of the Luigi Berlusconi Trophy, which will see AC Milan take on Club Atlético San Lorenzo at the San Siro this evening at 20.30.The team from the Boedo quarter of Buenos Aires, commonly referred to as San Lorenzo and founded in 1908, are one of the big 5 teams from Argentina. On the 14th of August earlier this year, they won the Copa Libertadores, the equivalent of Europe’s Champions League, to become South American Champions. The red and blue shirt of San Lorenzo has been worn by a number of important players over the years such as Ezequiel Lavezzi, Ivan Cordoba and Paolo Montero who have also played in Italy’s Serie A. The current team also boasts former Milan defender Mario Yepes, who was a part of the club’s last Scudetto triumph in 2011 and also won the Italian Super Cup with the rossoneri that same year. Interestingly, San Lorenzo have a very famous fan in the form of Pope Francis, who is a renowned supporter of the Argentine club.The latest edition of the Berlusconi Trophy sees it go back to the original ideals of the one-off match, by inviting a major international club side. In the early 1990s for instance both Bayern Munich and Real Madrid were the opponents and on both of those occasions the rossoneri ran out winners. Inzaghi’s Milan, who have one of the best attacks in the Italian top flight, will now be put to the test against a side from South America where the style of football is known for its intensity and entertainment. The evening will be extra special for Filippo Inzaghi who is set to be awarded a prize for being the all time top goal-scorer in the trophy's history. The Director General of Emirates Italy, Fabio Lazzerini, will hand out the award.It all makes for an unmissable event and thanks to the club’s decision to offer very affordable prices, everyone will have the chance to spend an evening of pure entertainment at the San Siro. Ticket prices have been set at € 10 for the entire first tier with the exception of the first red tier which has a ticket price of € 20. Cuore Rossonero card holders can also benefit from a 50% discount while season ticket holders and under 18 & over 65 Cuore Rossonero card holders can purchase tickets at a symbolic price of just € 1. The first tier is the only sector of the stadium open for ticket sales.The countdown can now begin for the 23rd edition of the Berlusconi Trophy, set to be played between two prestigious and illustrious sides.
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UPDATES: San Lorenzo arrived in Milan on Monday evening ahead of the Berlusconi Trophy. The Argentine side travelled to Italy on the back of a 2-0 victory in the league at home to Boca Juniors. The 18 players called up to the squad trained on Tuesday at the Breda Stadium in Sesto San Giovanni while a pre-match lunch will be held on the day of the match at 13.00. Massimiliano Irrati will take charge of the match.
STARTING LINE-UPS: MILAN: Abbiati; Bonera, Rami, Mexes, Armero; Van Ginkel, Essien, Poli; Niang, Pazzini, El Shaarawy.SAN LORENZO: Leo Franco; Prosperi, Fontanini, Yepes, Mas; Ortigoza, Kalinski, Barrientos; Blandi, Matos, Villalba.PRE-MATCH COMMENTS:San Lorenzo’s Mario Yepes, ex-Milan: "It’s wonderful to be back playing at the San Siro. Let’s hope we’re not too tired and let’s hope we give the fans a brilliant show. We’re struggling in the league, but we have the World Club Cup to compete for in December. I will say hello to Inzaghi and I will speak to him. Pippo was always someone who wanted to be a coach. Let’s hope it can go really well. The Pope one of our fans? It’s a nice feeling, he’s one of the most loved men in the world. El Shaarawy has suffered with lots of injuries, but they need to be patient with him. It’s not easy to come back after practically a year out. He’ll soon be back to his levels."San Lorenzo coach Edgardo Bauza: "We’re proud to play in this match. We’re expecting a difficult encounter. On Sunday we won against Boca Juniors. Making this trip is a big sacrifice, but I am happy to be taking part in this trophy as it’s the first time that a side from Argentina is taking part. Yepes and Barrientos know more about Italian football than me. They can help us with their experience. We’re happy to have them available and they will start the match tomorrow and they will do their best. It was important to beat Boca Juniors. We’ve suffered after some of our sales, but we’re re-organising ourselves and we’re getting back to our best. Leo Franco will start in goal. In defence, Prosperi, Fontanini, Yepes, Mas. In midfield, Ortigoza, Kalinski, Barrientos and in attack Blandi, Matos, Villalba. I know Inzaghi and he’s working with the squad to get the best possible out of them. Every Sunday us coaches face tests. The two teams have quality, it’s a source of pride to play this match and for this reason we made this sacrifice. We want to win, perhaps by playing a great match. The Pope is our most famous fan, but unfortunately he isn’t playing and cannot help us. Let’s hope we play a good match and entertain the fans."
(ARCHIVE PHOTO: the Berlusconi Trophy)