The big pre-season tournaments start this week, with the Real Madrid centenary trophy kicking things off, a competition between the four most successful clubs in the history of the European cup. Madrid (who have won the European trophy nine times) opened the celebrations with a 2-0 victory over four-time champions Liverpool. Figo and Spanish under-21 striker Portillo got the goals either side of half time. Tomorrow sees the second semi-final between Rivaldo's AC Milan (5 time winners) and Bayern Munich (4), with the winners taking on Real Madrid in Sunday's final.
The only other side to have won the European cup four times is Holland's Ajax, and they were hosting a competition of their own at the same time. Real Madrid's rivals FC Barcelona started things off with a 4-2 win over Italian side Parma. All six goals came in the first half, with Geovanni, Riquelme (2) and Rochemback scoring for the Catalans. Later in the evening Ajax beat Manchester United 2-1. Barcelona will play Ajax on Sunday, with Manchester United facing up against Parma beforehand. (02.08.02)