FC Barcelona and Chelsea will play this summer during the Rakuten Cup. The game will be the first preseason test for Barça. Four days after facing Chelsea, Barça square off against Vissel Kobe and Andrés Iniesta. The Chelsea clash will be played on July 23 at the Saitama Stadium, near Tokyo.
It will be the second time friendly between Barça and Chelsea. The last came on the 2015 US tour during the International Champions Cup. That match ended in a 2-2 draw. The last official game between Barça and Chelsea came in the last 16 of the 2017-18 UEFA Champions League when Barça knocked out the London-based outfit, 4-1 on aggregate (1-1 at Stamford Bridge and 3-0 at Camp Nou).
Chelsea is a totally different club these days. Manager Maurizio Sarri, the former coach of Napoli, took over the reins this season and currently has them battling for a spot in next season’s Champions League. They are currently fourth in the Premier League
Sarri has an experienced and talented team featuring stars like Eden Hazard, the undisputed leader of the team, as well as Willian, Gonzalo Higuaín, David Luiz and Mateo Kovacic, among others. The duel will also pit Barça against former blaugrana Pedro Rodríguez, who played six seasons at the Camp Nou (2007/08 - 2015/16), and scored 99 goals while helping the club to 21 titles.