(Reuters) - Italian champions Juventus will be the opponents for the 2018 Major League Soccer All-Star Game in August, the North American league said on Thursday.
Juventus, who are seeking a seventh consecutive Serie A title and will face Real Madrid in the Champions League quarter-finals, will play against a squad made up of the top MLS players on Aug. 1 in Atlanta.
“Our midseason showcase annually attracts the most prominent clubs in global soccer, and this year our All-Stars will face one of the sport’s most historically successful teams,” MLS Commissioner Don Garber said in a statement.
The MLS All-Star Game has long featured a team made up of the North American league’s best players against high-profile clubs from Europe, with European champions Real Madrid having played in last year’s match in Chicago.
Previous All-Star Game opponents include Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal and Bayern Munich.
This year’s summer showcase will be played inside Atlanta United’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium, a shared home with the National Football League’s Atlanta Falcons.
United, which began playing in the MLS in 2017, was announced as the host of the All-Star Game last October amid what Garber at the time called “one of the most compelling and impressive expansion team launches in the history of pro sports.”
Atlanta were one of the biggest success stories of the 2017 campaign, having broken the league’s match and season attendance records in their final regular-season game.
Juventus will become the second team from Italy’s Serie A to appear in the MLS All-Star Game with AS Roma having played in the 2013 match in Kansas City.
“It will be a pleasure for us to play in this game and feel the energy of MLS, an ever-growing league attracting more and more passionate fans,” Juventus manager Massimiliano Allegri said in a statement.
“It will also be a great chance for the many Juventus supporters in North America to see their team and favourite players.”
Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto; Editing by Toby Davis