CINCINNATI -- FC Cincinnati will play Valencia Club de Futbol from the Spanish Primera Division, or La Liga, in a July 24 international friendly at Nippert Stadium.
After a delay on Monday, club officials announced Tuesday that Valencia FC would be the team coming.
Valencia finished 12th in La Liga in 2016-17 with 46 points. La Liga boasts newly crowned European Champions League winners Real Madrid as well as Lionel Messi-led FC Barcelona and Atletico Madrid. Valencia beat Real Madrid 2-1 in a February match.
“I'm incredibly excited for us to play a team from the league where the Champions League winners just came from a few days ago,” FCC coach Alan Koch told WCPO.com. “It will very different than playing a team from say the Premier League because the Spanish teams are very technical, which is very exciting. You will see a different type of soccer being played when we play against them. It will also be a very educational tool for our players as well because … they will really get exposed to something they probably haven't seen before, and we're excited to embrace that.”
Valencia, known as Los Che, recently hired a new manager. Marcelino became the sixth manager the team has had in the past two years and ninth since 2012.
Among the players on Los Che are former Manchester United midfielder Nani, former Real Madrid prospect Rodrigo and captain Enzo Perez of Argentina.
In its inaugural season last year FC Cincinnati hosted English Premier League side Crystal Palace for it's first international friendly, an exhibition game that pits teams from other leagues around the world. That game drew 35,000 fans.
“Last year to bring a team from the EPL and this year a club from La Liga in Spain certainly speaks to what our fans and community have built that teams from some of the biggest leagues in the world want to come to Cincinnati and play us in a friendly,” FCC President Jeff Berding said.
The game will be played at 7 p.m. July 24. The team says tickets will be as low as $15 and the average ticket will be under $25. Season ticket holders will get the first choice on tickets and a general public on-sale date will be announced after the launch of the season ticket holders' window.
“It's tremendously exciting,” Berding said. “Last year, we talked about wanting to bring the world's game to Cincinnati. Last year, we brought England and this year, we're bringing Spain. We're very excited about that.”
Freelance writer Laurel Pfahler contributed to this article.