Real Madrid says no to foreign tours



Real Madrid, which became famous for its long preseason tours abroad, will not be doing a high-profile pre-season promotional tour to allow the team to focus on its preparations for next season.

"This year we are going to give the priority to the sports section of the club, and so we are not going to do a tour," Real board spokesman Miguel Angel Arroyo was quoted as saying on the club's Web site. "It will be the longest preseason we have had, with the team only having a national profile, so that we avoid the tiredness caused by long trips."

The club have accepted an invitation to play a friendly in Israel against a combined Israeli-Palestinian team on June 19, just after the end of this season.

Under former president Florentino Perez, Real embarked on extensive pre-season tours of the Far East and the United States as part of the club's policy to develop and expand its image across the globe. Real Madrid played in the United States in 2005 and 2006. David Beckham, who will leave Real Madrid for MLS's Los Angeles Galaxy in July, was the central figure in Real's promotion of its Galacticos in recent years.

Players and coaching staff complained that the tours had a negative effect on the team's performances during the season.

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