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There was an unforgettable Clásico on Sunday but there’s another to come on Friday at 8.00pm CET, thus time in Beirut, Lebanon, at the Camille Chamoun Sports City between the FC Barcelona and Real Madrid Legends. The game will be screened live on fcbarcelona.com (Barça Video) and on our Facebook channel (commentary in English).
It’s quite a collection of former stars that will be on show: Jesus Angoy, Francisco Guzmán, Gianluca Zambrotta, Juan Carlos, Gica Popescu, Francesco Coco, Eric Abidal, Miguel Angel Nadal, José Edmílson, Andoni Goikoetxea, Gaizka Mendieta, Edgar Davids, Ludovic Giuly, Julio Salinas, Luis García, Simao Sabrosa and Ronaldinho.
Real Madrid, meanwhile, will be fielding the likes of Roberto Carlos, Morientes, Karembeu, Savio, Fernando Sanz, Pavón and Amavisca.
José Mari Bakero, who is coaching the Barça legends, said today that “we are really excited to get this experience of coming to a country like Lebanon. La Liga is the best competition in the world, and it will be a great show for the fans to be able to watch the former players from such great clubs as Barça and Madrid. We hope the crowd enjoy getting to see people playing that they have only seen on TV before. It’ll be great – and all the Barça players will be doing all they can to win.”
The Barça squad trained on the field this Thursday watched by some 200 people, including several members of the local Barça supporters club, while a huge crowd off some 45,000 is expected to be in the stadium for the game on Friday.
Visit to prime minister and schools
Ronaldinho is undoubtedly one of the main draws, and there’s plenty of excitement about the thought of seeing the great Brazilian wearing the blaugrana jersey for the first time since he left the club in 2008. He and director Pau Vilanova have led the formalities on the eve of the game, even paying a visit to the Lebanese prime minister, Saad Hariri.
They also visited the Bayhom Public School and Basta Public School, where the FCB Foundation is implementing its famous FutbolNet project, and where the players were able to see the positive effect that it is having on the youngsters there. In Lebanon, the scheme is being particularly focused on helping displaced communities and promoting a receptive environment for refugees as part of the national education system
“It’s really exciting to see what an impact Barça is having” said Vilanova after the school visit. “The FC Barcelona Foundation is doing a great job and our Legends are also showing their unconditional support by taking part in the project today. We plan to extend FutbolNet to every school in Lebanon as a pilot project.”
Barça Legends at the Camp Nou
In March, it was announced that the legends would be facing a team of famous Manchester United players on 30 June at the Camp Nou, and there will be a return match at Old Trafford on 2 September.
Who are the Barça Legends?
Barça Legends is the result of an FC Barcelona programme to honour the many footballers that have worn the club jersey over the years. The project hopes to help globalise the Barça name and values through former players, and also to continue to exploit their careers after their retirement from professional duty. The initiative foresees the holding of different games and the organisation of parallel events in different places around the world.
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