Salsa star Marc Anthony performing at El Clásico Miami

By Alex Butler  |  May 3, 2017 at 9:02 PM
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May 3 (UPI) -- Latin sensation Marc Anthony will perform on July 29 at the 2017 International Champions Cup presented by Heineken match of El Clásico at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla.

The Real Madrid vs. Barcelona clash will take place outside of Spain for the first time since 1982 and second time ever. El Clásico has also never had a halftime show.

Yes, plenty of firsts will take place at the American edition of the matchup, set in the home of the Miami Dolphins.

On Wednesday, Anthony took the stage of the Perez Art Museum Miami [PAMM] to announce he would be singing at halftime. That week, festivities begin with a matchup on July 26 between Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain. There will also be a legend's game, skill competitions, and other events.

"I'm accepting the responsibility of standing up here," Anthony said Wednesday. "...To speak when I prefer singing. That being said...this honor that has been bestowed upon me. There is no surprise, with this group, with everyone involved, with what is coming in July...that they are thinking outside the box. I'm not surprised that there is a first time halftime show in the middle of such an important encounter between these two master teams."

The game is expected to sell out. But don't worry about not seeing the stars from both teams. Barca's president and Real's president have each confirmed that their best players will participate, according to the Miami Herald.

That means you can expect to see Neymar, Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Luis Suarez, among others.

Barca edged Real 3-2 on Messi's extra time goal on April 23. The score was Messi's 500th. Barca leads the La Liga standings after that victory. The Spanish sides tied 1-1 on December 3.

Tickets for the matchup are currently going for $350 and up.

From an outsider's perspective, pulling off a halftime gig might not seem difficult. After all, event producer David Saltz has organized halftime shows for Super Bowls including artists like Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Paul McCartney, and Prince. But to put it in perspective, the events can feature 10 music artists, 300 youth cast members, and 100 people moving equipment for a 5 to 7 minute performance. All of that work must be done in a 15-minute window, explained Saltz.

Billionaire real-estate developer Jorge Perez and Miami Heat star Chris Bosh also attended the event. Perez is the CEO and co-founder of Related Group Miami and an ambassador of El Clásico Miami. Bosh is among several stars, including Flo Rida, Serena Williams, and Dan Marino to also serve as ambassadors for the event.

Several hundred million worldwide viewers are expected to tune into the game.

"Appealing to my ex-wive's was enough as it was," Anthony said Wednesday. "What you have to do is keep it local. I do what I do and what I would say is that I'm in great hands. This is what we do. it is unprecedented in many, many ways...So we are looking at it with special eyes. I'm still in the middle of trying to make it as spectacular as it could be. Everyone involved is best in class. I'll be trying to figure out how to do my thing. This is surreal to me. I'm sure that when the day comes, I will wake up bright and early and be ready for the responsibility. I'm going to do what it is that I do."

Anthony declined to say which team he was pulling for in the match. When asked what position he would play if he played professional soccer, Anthony said "owner."

The event is presented by Relevant Sports, a division of RSE Ventures. Stephen M. Ross and Matt Higgins founded RSE Venture in 2012. It is a multi-national sports and entertainment venture firm with a focus on new technologies. The venture also owns and operates Catalyst Media Group, VanynerMedia, Vayner/RSE, Ascendant Sports Group, and the International Champions Cup.

Ross serves as managing general partner and chairman for the Dolphins. Perez is a vice chairman for the franchise, while Anthony serves as a partner in the Dolphins' ownership group.

Anthony's performance will also mark the first time that any International Champions Cup match will have a halftime performance. Previous champions cup matches have included: Real Madrid vs. Manchester United at Michigan Stadium, Real Madrid vs. Chelsea at Michigan Stadium, and matches featuring Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain.

Anthony, 48, has more than 30 million followers on social media. He is a five-time Grammy award winner and holds the Guinness World Record for best-selling salsa artist.

Real Madrid also faced Barcelona outside of Spain when the two sides met 35 years ago in Venezuela. Real Madrid won that match 1-0. Real's next game is Saturday on the road against Granada. Barca hosts Villarreal Saturday at Camp Nou.

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