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On 29 July, FC Barcelona will play against Real Madrid in Miami during the club’s pre-season preparations in the United States. During an event in city in the South of Florida, Barça’s Vice-President responsible for the area of Marketing and Communications, Manel Arroyo, and former player Hristo Stoichkov on behalf of Barça, while the Director of Institutional Relations Emilio Butragueño and former player and ambassador Roberto Carlos on behalf of Real Madrid, were there to represent their teams during the announcement of this historic match which will be a part of the 2017 International Champions Cup.
The match will be played at the Hard Rock Stadium, home of the NFL’s Miami Dolphins and where Barça played a match against Chivas de Guadalajara (Mexico) in 2011. The fact that Miami has a large Hispanic population, who are also very passionate about football, was the main reason why the organisers opted for El Clásico to take place in this city.
After the event, it was also announced that FC Barcelona will play two more matches on North American soil. The opponents, dates and locations for these two matches will be made known during an event that will take place on 21 March in New York, where the company that is organising the competition, Relevant Sports, will present the competition’s groups.
This Friday’s presentation in Miami was attended by the Miami Dolphins owners: the founder of Relevent Sports, Stephen Ross: the mayor of Miami Carlos Giménez; and the famous ex-Dolphins player, Dan Marino, as well as over thirty local media outlets.
FC Barcelona’s first team also took part in the International Champions last summer. On that occasion, Barça played a total of three matches, all of which were in Europe. The first was on 30 July against Celtic at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin (Republic of Ireland); followed by Leicester City at the Friends Arena in Stockholm (Sweden), before finishing with a match against Liverpool at Wembley.
Second Clásico outside of Spain
This will be the second Clásico to be played outside of Spain after the one that was played in Barquisimeto (Venezuela) on 30 May 1982 during a friendly tournament in Venezuela. To date, the teams have met in friendly matches on 31 occasions, with 18 wins for Barça, nine draws and just four defeats. The last meeting was in 1991, making it over 25 years since Barça and Madrid last faced each other in a friendly match.
The Clásico set to take place on 29 July will be Barça’s 18th pre-season match played in the United States. The first match in the US was in 2003, when Frank Rijkaard’s side played against Juventus in Boston. Since then, Barça have travelled to North America five times to prepare for the new season.
FC Barcelona’s latest trip to the United States, a country which is a top priority for the Club, is a part of the club’s strategic plan and its global expansion. Last September, FC Barcelona opened an office in New York with a delegation headed by President Josep Maria Bartomeu, where former player Ronaldinho inaugurated the headquarters with a symbolic goal. As part of its global expansion plan, Barça also has an office in Hong Kong.
Statements from the Vice-President responsible for FC Barcelona’s Marketing and Communication Area, Manel Arroyo:
“I would like to thank Stephen Ross and Relevent Sports for this fantastic opportunity, not only for our club but for the footballing family. I think today we are writing a crucial chapter in football’s history in the United States as this match will be a big opportunity to promote the game in this country. This is something we are hoping to achieve at FC Barcelona and the recent opening of our New York office is testament to this. The match on the 29th is not only a friendly, it is much more than that: it is a game which is always passionate and one which all fans will be able to enjoy, especially here in Miami.”
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