On Monday July 16, the FC Barcelona first team will start warming up their engines for the 2012/13 season. Tito Vilanova’s squad will train for eight days and then take on a series of five friendly matches in Europe and North Africa. Once it is all over, they will have travelled no less than 14,350 kilometres.
Barcelona > Hamburg > Barcelona: 2,950 kilometres
The first flight will take the team to Germany where the first test of the preseason will be against Hamburg SV, as special guests for the club’s 125th anniversary. The game is on Tuesday July 24 at 18:00 in the Imtech Arena, a FIFA five-star venue. It will be Tito Vilanova’s first game as first team manager. The return flight will cover a total of 2,950 kilometres.
Barcelona > Tangiers > Barcelona: 1,862 kilometres
Four days after that, on Saturday July 28, FC Barcelona will be in Morocco to take on Raja Club Athletic from Casablanca at the Grand Stade in Tangiers. Travel to the second fixture will involve a further 1,862 kilometres, and the game itself kicks off at 00.00 (Saturday night into Sunday morning), and at 22.00 local time.
Barcelona > Paris > Barcelona: 1,660 kilometres
Having played the Catalonia Supercup against Espanyol in Barcelona in the meantime, the third game of the preseason takes Barça to the French capital and one of the most emblematic stadiums in Europe, the Parc des Princes, where París Saint-Germain await them on Saturday August 4. Totalling 1,660 kilometres, this will be the shortest journey of the preseason.
Barcelona > Gothenburg > Barcelona: 3,884 kilometres
The penultimate away trip will take FC Barcelona a further 3,884 kilometres as they fly to Sweden and back. In Gothenburg, Tito Vilanova will be facing a familiar rival in Manchester United, the same side Barça met in the Champions League Finals of 2009 in Rome and 2011 at Wembley. It all kicks off at 20.00 on Wednesday August 8 at the Ullevi Stadium.
Barcelona > Bucharest > Barcelona: 3,994 kilometres
The last stop of the preseason schedule is the Romanian capital of Bucharest, where Barça have their fifth friendly against one of the city’s biggest clubs, Dynamo Bucharest, on Saturday August 11 at 20:15 local time and 19:15 CET. The last journey will cover 3,994 kilometres of ground, and takes the overall total up to 14,350. And after all that there is still the Gamper and the Spanish Supercup to come, not forgetting, of course, the start of another league season!