All of a sudden Philadelphia is a world soccer hotspot. Everton visited PPL Park last week. Real Madrid played at the Linc last night. Juventus has made Philadelphia its home base, practicing at the NovaCare Complex, during the World Football Challenge.
Amongst other things these world class clubs bring international superstars, a rabid media following, and incredibly funny cultural differences.
For instance, the picture above of Ryan Howard and Cristiano Ronaldo was posted to the Real Madrid website.
The caption accompanying the photo is phenomenal.
"The Philadelphia Phillies player went to Lincoln Financial Field as soon as his team's game was over to meet the Portuguese player, whom he regards as one of his idols."
Photo of Howard with Juventus players and a video after the Jump...
Apparently, in addition to leading La Liga in goals and taking his shirt off every hour on the hour, Ronaldo is also writing copy for the Real Madrid website.
Today, Howard, who somehow managed to regroup after meeting one of his
idols, exchanged jerseys with Juventus players Alessandro Del Piero,
Andrea Pirlo, and Giorgio Chiellini. No doubt Del Piero spent the
remainder of the afternoon trying to figure out how to pop the collar on
his new Phils jersey.
Finally, as an added bonus here's an unbelievable video from Juve's YouTube page. The training montage, primarily shot at the NovaCare Complex, makes use of the what may possibly be the greatest and most dramatic 80's music accompaniment ever (Rocky training in the Russian winter included).