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8.01.2017Bayer 04

Florida Cup starts with game against Estudiantes

Here we go again. The Werkself faced the Argentinian top-flight team Estudiantes de La Plata in the Florida Cup in St Petersburg/Tampa on Sunday (20.00 CET).
© Bayer 04 Leverkusen Fussball GmbH

This is the third time the competition has been held and is now an established institution in the Sunshine State. Bayer 04 are the only team to have played in all three years.

Six teams are competing for the trophy from 8 to 15 January under the motto 'Where clubs become nations'. Germany are represented by the Werkself and the VfL Wolfsburg youth team, Atlético Mineiro and EC Bahia from Brazil are here and the 'USA/Argentina team' is made up of Tampa Bay Rowdies and Estudiantes de La Plata. Every team plays two games and the points are added up for the nations at the end with wins earning three points, draws one plus the chance for an extra point in the final penalty shootout.

Verón’s comeback

Bayer 04 opened the Florida Cup on Sunday (20.00 CET) against Estudiantes de La Plata. The opponents were at the top of the Argentinian league for a long time in the first half of the season but finished fourth in 2016. One particular point of interest: The great Juan Sebastian Verón makes his comeback after promise the fans to face Bayer 04 at the age of 41. Verón has signed an 18-month contract at Estudiantes. The Bayer 04 there are hopes that Karim Bellarabi will also make his comeback. Roger Schmidt is considering giving him time on the pitch in the Florida Cup. The matches were shown live on DAZN and the Bayer 04 Facebook page.

Atlético with Robinho on Wednesday

The second game for the Werkself takes place on the night of Wednesday to Thursday (01.00 CET) in Orlando. Schmidt's team will face and Atlético Mineiro side that includes superstars Robinho, Fred and the former Hoffenheim player Carlos Eduardo.

Two tournaments in one

Following the first round, six other teams will compete for a second Florida Cup from 15 January in a play-off mode. The teams are Corinthians SC, Vasco de Gama, FC São Paulo, Millionarios FC, River Plate from Buenos Aires plus SC Barcelona.

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