Sir Alex Ferguson says the challenge posed by the likes of Barcelona, Manchester City and Real Madrid during Tour 2017, presented by Aon, can only help the Manchester United players for when the real tests come around. The Reds will kick off the summer tour with five games in the United States - two friendlies against Major League Soccer sides LA Galaxy and Real Salt Lake, before International Champions Cup (ICC) meetings with City and the two giant clubs from Spain.
Sir Alex, who was back at Old Trafford earlier this month to manage the Reds in Michael Carrick's testimonial, led United on tour against high-profile opposition on a number of occasions of course and he's excited by this summer's upcoming fixtures.
"The great thing about United is you've got to accept the challenge of beating the best," the former manager told ManUtd.com at the tour launch.
"The expectation is always there and the matches we'll face in the ICC are all big ones. It's very good for the younger players to come into this type of competition in terms of preparing to be a Manchester United player. The more intense the challenge they can get, the better prepared they will be when facing Manchester City in an important league match or Real Madrid or Barcelona in Europe.
"The preparation to play in games as big as that can be started in pre-season tournaments like the ICC, which is fantastic", said Sir Alex.
The Reds' tour clash with Real Madrid in 2014 attracted a record crowd for a soccer match in the United States (109,318) and Sir Alex, a regular visitor to the country for work and pleasure, is expecting fans to once again be out in their droves to support the team during Tour 2017, presented by Aon.
"Every time we come to the States we get a full house and that tells you everything," he added.