International Champions Cup opponents

Manchester United, Chelsea, Los Angeles Galaxy and Fiorentina will be FC Barcelona’s opponents in the 3rd edition of the North American International Champions Cup, a competition organised by Relevant Sports and that will take place starting on 11 July. Barça will take part in the tournament for the very first time with the calendar of matches for the tournament revealed on Tuesday in New York at the competition’s official launch. Present representing the Club were Éric Abidal in the role of ambassador and the Club’s CEO Ignacio Mestre.

The calendar of games revealed at the presentation sees FC Barcelona committed to play a total of four matches. The first will come at the Rose Bowl in Los Angeles against the LA Galaxy on 21 July. Four days later on the 25 July the blaugranes will face Manchester United, this time at the Levi’s Stadium, the home of NFL side San Francisco 49ers. On 28 April Chelsea will be their third opponents, the game scheduled to take place on the FedEx Field in Washington DC. Their final game of the tournament will come in Florence at the Artemio Franchi against ACF Fiorentina (2 August).

The tournament will take place between 11 July and 5 August and boasts a glittering array of participants. Aside from Barça and the teams that they will face, also taking part will be PSG and Porto representing Europe, the New York Red Bulls and the San Jose Earthquakes from the MLS plus Mexican side Club América de México. The games will be played in the USA, Canada, Mexico and Europe.

The competition is played in a league format. Each team plays a total of four games and the winner is the one that gets the most points. But the points system is not one that most European sides are used to. There are three points for a win, while if a game ends in a draw, there is a penalty shootout, and the winning team gets two points and the loser gets one.

Abidal, FC Barcelona ambassador at the 2015 International Champions Cup

The details of the competition were revealed on Tuesday at the Hotel Trump Soho in New York. All of the clubs sent ambassadors, mainly in the form of ex-players, with Barça represented by Frenchman Éric Abidal, who featured in last year’s edition with Olympiacos. He was joined, among others, by Bernard Lama (PSG) Dwight Yorke (Manchester United) and Carlo Cudicini (Chelsea). FC Barcelona was also represented by its CEO Ignacio Mestre.

Belletti, in San Francisco

From New York, the event moves to the west coast on Wednesday at 10.30 in the Levi’s Stadium, home of the San Francisco 49ers. Some of the teams that will play in that region, including Barça, will be introduced, with the Catalans represented this time by Juliano Belletti. The scorer of the famous goal in Paris will be joined onstage by former Manchester United great Denis Irwin. San José Earthquake of the MLS will also be there.

Statement by Éric Abidal:

“It is my pleasure to be here to represent FC Barcelona at this tournament. Thank you for inviting us and giving us the chance to take part. Barça have lots of fans around the world, in America too, and playing this tournament will give us an opportunity to meet our supporters here and share the moment with them. It is also a great chance to promote this sport in the United States”.