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A beginner's guide to the Audi Cup

Spurs are participating in the Audi Cup this week as a final warm-up before the Premier League begins this weekend. What is the Audi Cup? I'm so glad you asked.

Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

Tottenham Hotspur will play its final two friendly matches of the season this week in the Audi Cup, a biennial competition in Munich that will pit four high profile European clubs against each other. This is the first time Tottenham has participated in the Audi Cup, which means many fans probably don't know what it is or what is in store for their favorite club.

Don't worry, we're here to help!

So what exactly is the Audi Cup?

The Audi Cup is a biennial friendly football competition featuring Bayern Munich and three other football clubs. The competition, held at Bayern's Allianz Arena, is usually scheduled for the week before the beginning of the Bundesliga league season.

How did this start?

Well, it started thanks to #brands. German auto manufacturer Audi, the chief sponsor of the competition, started it in 2009 to commemorate the 100th year of trading on the stock exchange, and it's been held every two years ever since. This year will mark the fourth competition.

Which other teams are participating?

The Audi Cup generally schedules three super strong teams along with one medium to lower-quality club, but still with high name recognition. Bayern is the host of the competition and hence has played in every iteration thus far. Strangely, AC Milan has also participated in all four Audi Cups thus far. Real Madrid is this third participant, and Tottenham is the newest competitor.

So which club is the weakest of the competition?

Milan, duh.

Wait, I thought you said...

Shut up.

So how does this tournament work?

The four teams are paired off against each other. One set of matches takes place Wednesday Tuesday evening, and then the winners and losers play each other again on Thursday Wednesday evening.

Hold up. Two matches in two days?


Doesn't Tottenham play at Old Trafford just three days later?

Uh huh.

Who's bright idea was this?


What does the winner get? Is there actually a cup? Is it shaped like an Audi?

There is in fact an actual cup, and it's pictured at the top of the page, though it looks less like a cup (and even less like an Audi) and more like the bell of a trombone or maybe an art deco champagne flute.

So who does Tottenham play first?

Spurs will open the tournament against Real Madrid on Wednesday Tuesday, August 4 at 6:15 p.m. Munich time, 4:15 p.m .UK, 12:15 p.m. USA. [Editor's note: how do you even days of the week? Good effort, Menno.]

Doesn't Gareth Bale play for Madrid now?

You betcha.

How does that make you feel?

Shut up.

When's the next match?

Spurs will play either Bayern Munich or AC Milan on Thursday Wednesday, August 5.

So Spurs play two 90 minute matches against top quality competition in two days, just three days before opening the season against Manchester United. What's the point of this again?

Experience. Tune-ups against high-profile opponents. Increasing #brand awareness. Warm fuzzy Gareth Bale memories. Also money, I guess.

That makes me pretty #againstmodernfootball.

Tell me about it.

What are the odds that we'll see full strength sides in both matches?

Slim to none. At least we hope so. If Mauricio Pochettino treats these matches as friendlies and not as tournament games, then we should see strong starting lineups and then a lot of bench or youth players. I'd expect we'll probably see a lot of that from the other teams in the competition. But then again, maybe not: the Bundesliga doesn't start until August 14, while Serie A doesn't start until August 22. That means that potentially they could field strong lineups for much of the match, since they have additional time to recover. Spurs don't have that luxury, though undoubtedly Poche will want to field his first choice 11 at least once during this tournament.

So there's a good chance that Spurs could get flattened this week?

Just keep concentrating on the glory.

But I don't think...