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Football Is the Next Big Thing for Hedge Funds and Private Equity

Alternative investment firms are flexing their muscle in the world’s most popular sport. We look at how they are doing it.

Atletico de Madrid in action against FC Porto during their UEFA Champions League group B match in Madrid, Spain on Sept. 15.

Atletico de Madrid in action against FC Porto during their UEFA Champions League group B match in Madrid, Spain on Sept. 15.

Photographer: David Ramos/Getty Images

When AC Milan host Atletico de Madrid in the Champions League on Tuesday evening, it will be a clash between Italy’s most successful team in Europe’s elite soccer competition and last year’s Spanish title winner.

For the financial world, it’s also a matchup between a hedge fund based in New York and a credit fund headquartered in Los Angeles. Elliott Management Corp. took control of AC Milan in 2018 after Chinese owner Li Yonghong defaulted on debt obligations. Funds managed by Ares Management Corporation acquired a 34% stake in LaLiga champion Atletico in June.