BT Murrayfield to host Liverpool friendly
BT Murrayfield will host Champions League winners Liverpool for the first time in a pre-season friendly against Serie A stars SSC Napoli next month.
Scotland’s largest stadium will once again open its turnstiles to football on Sunday 28 July in what promises to be a mouth-watering match, featuring two of Europe’s biggest teams.
Liverpool FC, who became champions of Europe after a 2-0 against Tottenham Hotspur in Madrid last Saturday, have long ties with Scotland. Current Scotland captain Andrew Robertson currently plays for the Reds whilst Kenny Dalglish, Alan Hansen and Graeme Souness all captained the Merseyside club, with Dalglish and Souness also leading the team as managers after their playing careers ended.
Scottish manager Bill Shankly is widely cited as the most iconic figure in the history of the club for his trophy winning career in England and Europe and the long-lasting culture he built at Anfield.
The fixture against SSC Napoli in Edinburgh will be the sixth of eight matches Jurgen Klopp’s side will use to build up for the 2019/20 season. The club revealed last month they will be playing three matches in the USA in July and also announced further pre-season matches today.
The pre-season preparations follow a successful season where the club won the Champions League and finished narrow runners-up in the Premier League.
European opponents SSC Napoli finished second in Serie A last season, the top flight of Italian football. The Naples based club, which Diego Maradona historically made 188 appearances for, reached the knock out stages of European competition last season, losing out to Arsenal in the quarter-finals.
Scottish Rugby’s Chief Operating Officer Dominic McKay said, “We are delighted to be able to host this world-class match. It is a massive coup to secure Liverpool and SSC Napoli and shows the fantastic reputation BT Murrayfield has on the international sporting stage.
“Supporters who come to BT Murrayfield have a great experience, whether that be Hearts who played four games here in 2017 or the spectators at our Guinness Six Nations and Autumn Test matches.
“This match is a unique opportunity to see international club football in Scotland this summer, a treat for any sports fans. The Edinburgh International Festival begins a few days after this fixture so this will add to an already exciting time in the capital city.
“Scottish Rugby has enjoyed 14 sell-out matches in a row at BT Murrayfield and we are confident our venue is one of the premium stadium venues in the UK, and this fixture just reaffirms it.”
Billy Hogan, Managing Director and Chief Commercial Officer, Liverpool FC said: “This will be the first time we’ve ever played at BT Murrayfield – Scotland is inextricably linked to our heritage as a club and is somewhere we’ve wanted to play for a while.
"Playing in front of our Scottish fans in a world class venue like BT Murrayfield will be an incredible occasion and we’re really excited to sample the atmosphere we’ve heard so much about.”
BT Murrayfield has played host to eight football matches over the last 15 years. In 2007 and 2008 Barcelona played at the home of Scottish Rugby and the recent Scottish Cup Champions, Celtic, played two matches in 2014.
More recently, Scottish Rugby was invited by the Scottish Football Association to bid to host Scotland internationals and major matches.
BT Murrayfield hosted the Betfred Cup Semi-Final between Celtic and Hearts in October 2018 which brought in 61,161 spectators, the largest crowd for a Scottish football match for almost two decades. The stadium had previously hosted Hearts in 2017 for home matches while their Tynecastle venue was getting refurbished.
Tickets for Liverpool FC vs SSC Napoli will go on general sale on Wednesday 12 June via ticketmaster.co.uk.