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Thierry Henry and David Beckham, August 2015 | FCB - Miguel Ruiz

After nearly twenty years, FC Barcelona travelled back to the United States in July 2003 to take part in the inaugural “Champions World Series”. Starting their campaign with a 2-2 draw against Juventus in Boston, they also faced AC Milan in Washington DC, and concluded their trip in Philadelphia with a 3-1 loss against Manchester United in front of just under 70,000 fans. Symbolising how prominent the country had become in the touring schedules of Europe´s biggest clubs, FC Barcelona returned to the US just three years later in 2006, showcasing the talent of their newly crowned European Champions. A young Leo Messi capped an impressive tournament with a goal in the club´s last game against the New York Red Bulls after three matches for the Blaugranes against Mexican opposition (Tigres UANL, Chivas Guadalajara and América). 

Two of their opposition from this trip would again take on Barça in Pep Guardiola´s first pre-season campaign as manager in 2008. Without a number of their biggest players who were taking part in the Summer Olympics in Beijing, Barça beat Guadalajara in Chicago and ended their short excursion in New Jersey against the New York Red Bulls in a thrilling 6-2 win. 

After a record-breaking season for Barça that saw the club win a historic La Liga, Copa Del Rey and Champions League treble, the Club returned to the US just one year later before the 2009/2010 league season kicked off. Visiting California for the first time, they began their campaign with a 2-1 victory over the Los Angeles Galaxy, in a game which saw ex-Real Madrid star David Beckham level the scoring with a trademark free-kick. Barça would leave the field victorious and take their form to Seattle, where they would display all the qualities that made them one of the best teams in the world, beating the Sounders 4-0 in front of a record 67,000 fans. Before returning home, Guardiola´s men would again take on Chivas Guadalajara in San Francisco, where they could only manage a 1-1 draw. 

Fast forward just two years to 2011 and Barça were back across the pond, this time competing in three matches, first against one of this summer´s opponents Manchester United then two more games against the now familiar rival Chivas Guadalajara and Club América from Mexico. The tour went through Washington DC, a first trip to Dallas and in another coincidence, a stop on this year´s summer tour, Miami, Florida. The highlight for many was the trip´s opener against FC Barcelona´s Champions League final opponents from just two months prior. Unlike that famous day at Wembley, it would be the team from England on the right-end of the 3-1 scoreline. Playing in 38ºC/100ºF heat, over 81,000 fans witnessed the match at the home of the Washington Redskins. FC Barcelona returned home after the trip and would take a four-year break before their next visit to the USA.

Like the previous tour, FC Barcelona arrived on American soil as European champions. A swift three-game tour followed with matches against the LA Galaxy, Manchester United and Chelsea. Incredibly, the 2015 tour attracted just under a quarter of a million fans to the three games, establishing FC Barcelona as one of the best supported teams in the United States. 

Without the firepower of the likes of Lionel Messi and Neymar, both recovering from demanding Copa America campaigns with Argentina and Brazil, Barça only managed one win from the three games. The tour however was a huge success and laid the foundation for a thrilling 2015/2016 season which saw Barça take yet another La Liga title.

Summer 2017 will bring the Blaugranes´ seventh visit to the United States since the turn of the millennium. With thrilling encounters against Manchester United, Juventus and of course Real Madrid, it promises to be a historic tour.

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