REAL MADRID have fired a warning that they will not be taking tomorrow's friendly against Celtic lightly – after crushing AC Milan 5-1 in New York.
Yesterday's game was the third played by Jose Mourinho's La Liga champions, having previously thumped LA Galaxy 5-1 in Los Angeles, Santos Laguna 2-1 in Las Vegas, before battering Milan at Yankee Stadium in New York.
Neil Lennon's squad arrived yesterday still on a high from defeating HJK Helsinki on Wednesday to book their place in today's draw for the play-offs to win a spot in the Cham-pions League group stage.
Real Madird represent the calibre of club already waiting at that stage, and are sure to give Celtic a very tough test in the high humidity and 85 degree heat forecast for the game which kicks off at Lincoln Financial Field at 1.30pm local time.
Mourinho has been changing his entire team at half-time in these matches, and has the depth of squad to be able to field two very strong XIs.
But, despite feeling the effects of a tough 90 minutes on the plastic pitch in Helsinki, and a 12-hour journey to get to their Philadelphia HQ, Lennon's players are right up for this match.
Joe Ledley – who chested home the all-important first goal in Helsinki – can't wait to test himself against Cristiano Ronaldo and Co.
The Welshman will be an important player, with Scott Brown, James Forrest and Paddy McCourt all missing the trip due to injury.
Ledley said: It's going to be an honour for us as players to be on the same pitch as Real Madrid.
"This is what we want this season, European football, so that we can play against players like this.
"It's going to be a good friendly, and we are looking forward to it. Obviously, it's a lot of travelling.
"But we have not got a game for a week after this, so it will be fine."
Ledley revealed he has another reason to relish the opportunity to go toe-to-toe with the champions of Spain, who last season reached the semi-final of the Champions League.
"My team is Barcelona," he explained. "But, in the last couple of years, I have seen a lot of Real Madrid because I have watched a lot of Spanish football.
"It's one of the best leagues in the world.
"They play football the right way. They get the ball down and they keep it, and it's fantastic to watch.