Edinburgh to host Manchester United and Lyon in pre-season fixture
Manchester United FC are to play a pre-season friendly at BT Murrayfield Stadium this July. The English club, who have never previously played at the venue, will face French Ligue 1 side Olympique Lyonnais (OL) on Wednesday 19 July as part of their five-match preparation for the new football season.
It will be a significant occasion for the Red Devils, playing their first match in Scotland since a UEFA Champions League group stage fixture against Rangers F.C in 2010.
The United side historically has a strong connection with Scottish football with many national team players representing United, including current midfielder Scott McTominay. The squad is also glittered with international and British talent such as fan favourite Bruno Fernandes, World Cup winner Lisandro Martínez and top goal scorer this season, Marcus Rashford.
Olympique Lyonnais, highlighted by French superstar Alexandre Lacazette, Croatian defender Dejan Lovren, as well as manager Laurent Blanc will play in Scotland for the first time since 2021 when they defeated Rangers in the UEFA Europa League.
Manchester United Football Director John Murtough said: “Whilst as a club we have great historical links to Scotland, this will be the first time we’ve played at BT Murrayfield, and we’re really looking forward to performing in front of our Scottish fans in what will be a great occasion in a world-class sporting venue.”
“This is an important competitive match for our squad as we commence our preparations for the season ahead. With a 2pm kick-off during the school holidays, we hope many families and young fans from all over Scotland and the UK will be able to travel to the game.”
Scottish Rugby Chief Executive Mark Dodson said: “We are delighted to be able to welcome Mancester United and Olympique Lyonnais to BT Murrayfield this summer. We have four concerts dates in May for Beyonce, Harry Styles and Bruce Springsteen so being able to add Manchester United into this stellar mix this summer is fantastic. Being the largest stadium in Scotland, it is great to be able to continue to bring exciting sporting and music events to Edinburgh.”
To officially launch the match today at BT Murrayfield were former Manchester United and England player Wes Brown, Scotland rugby player and Manchester United fan Hamish Watson, alongside Olympique Lyonnais Technical Director Bruno Cheyrou – who did score against United in a UEFA Champions League fixture back in 2001.
Wes Brown said: “Manchester United has strong links to Scotland through players past and present, as well as the obvious connection of Sir Alex Ferguson, so the prospect of this friendly against Olympique Lyonnais at Murraryfield is hugely exciting. Playing the game at such an iconic stadium will I’m sure make it an even more special occasion for the players and fans alike.”
Hamish Watson added: “I am still a proud season ticket holder at United and get down to games when I can. To have my team playing at BT Murrayfield is special. I have had so many amazing memories here as a player so to now have the chance to watch United on my home patch is going to be brilliant.
“Manchester United are the biggest club in the world and I’m sure they’ll receive a warm reception from the Scottish crowd who back us from the stands so strongly.
“It’s going to be a great couple of months of live sport in Edinburgh as we look forward to playing three matches at BT Murrayfield in preparation for the Rugby World Cup in September.”
Bruno Cheyrou added: “As a club you always want to pit yourself against the biggest and the best and arguably they don’t come much bigger than Manchester United. This will be the first time we have played United in 15 years and the match will be an important part or our pre-season preparations.”
Tickets for the match will go on sale this Thursday, 18 May. With a family friendly kick off time of 2pm, BT Murrayfield could well be at its 67,000 capacity for the game. The last football match held at the national rugby union stadium – Liverpool v Napoli in 2019 – attracted a crowd of 65,442.
The two teams last met in 2008 in the UEFA Champions League Round of 16, with Manchester United winning through 2-1 on aggregate, before going on to beat Chelsea in the final in Moscow.
Exclusive presale tickets will be available starting 17 May, with general on-sale ticket access opening on 18 May at 12pm.