UEFA Champions League semifinalist Juventus shows interest in playing in Michigan

Juventus F.C. is one of the major soccer clubs in Europe. The Italian squad is currently in the midst of a UEFA Champions League run that has them potentially moving onto the UEFA Champions League title match. That honor is a major accomplishment for European soccer and is arguably the most important title outside of the FIFA World Cup.

Juventus defeated Monaco 2-0 in the first leg of the semifinals on Wednesday. They have been able to pull off this impressive run with a hard-nosed defense and one of the best back lines in soccer; that becomes even more impressive in the context that Juventus lost one of its star players, Paul Pogba, to English Premier League stalwart Manchester United.

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While their minds are set on a Champions League title, they are also thinking about the possibility of playing here in the U.S., more specifically Detroit.

According to a Detroit Free Press report, Relevant Sports chairman Charlie Stillitano sees a distinct possibility of Juventus playing in Michigan. Relevant Sports is responsible for running the International Champions Cup.

Stillitano was in Detroit on Wednesday to help announce that Paris Saint-Germain will play AS Roma at Comerica Park on July 19 to kick off the fifth season of the International Champions Cup. ICC is owned by Miami Dolphins owner Stephen M. Ross, who is a major benefactor of his alma mater, the University of Michigan.

“The Agnelli family has owned Juventus since 1929 and they have a little stake in FCA here — Fiat Chrysler,” Stillitano said. “I think they own 40% of Fiat Chrysler.”

Stillitano expressed that Juventus had interest in coming state side to play in Detroit, but AS Roma was ultimately chosen to play at Comerica Park on July 19.

He also commented very strongly on the soccer support in the city of Detroit and trying to bring “The Beautiful Game” to the Motor City.

“With the respect to the U.S, we're trying to get into cities like Detroit, where soccer is looking for a home, if you will,” Stillitano said. “Detroit (City) FC has done well here. … We see the great interest up in Michigan. We try to get into new markets. We're a little like Johnny Appleseed … we try to see where the hot buttons are in soccer are in this county. On a personal level, I feel a real kinship to Detroit. My owner, clearly, has a real kinship, Stephen Ross being born here, it means everything to him that we're here in Detroit.”

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