FC Barcelona will open the 2019/20 pre-season with a high-level match against Chelsea during the Club’s tour in Japan. The match will be played in Tokyo on July 23 and will be the first of two duels in the Rakuten Cup. Four days later Barça play Vissel Kobe.
The capital of Japan and with more than 8 million inhabitants, Tokyo is the 14th largest city in the world, and one of the largest urban and financial centers on the planet. The city is already preparing to host the 2020 Olympic Games, the first to be held there since 1964.
It will not be FC Barcelona’s first visit to Tokyo and Japan. The last visit came when Barça won the 2015 FIFA Club World Cup with a dominating win over River Plate at the Yokohama International Stadium, where they previously won the same tournament in 2012 against Santos.
This summer’s Barça–Chelsea clash is being held at the Saitama Stadium, which opened in 2001, and is the home of the Urawa Red Diamonds in the Japanese top flight. It has a capacity of 63,700 spectators. Located in the Tokyo metropolitan area, the stadium hosted matches during the 2002 World Cup as well as the semi-final between Brazil and Turkey, which featured former Barça players Belletti, Edmilson, Ronaldinho, Ronaldo, and Rustu.