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13.05.2008 13:06

Friendly in Saudi Arabia on May 26


FC Barcelona will play Saudi Arabian club Al Ittihad on May 26, the only friendly the club has programmed once their league schedule is over.

The game will be played in Jeddah, where Al Ittihad are one of the two major local clubs, and will be Barça’s first ever visit to the country. The plans for a game to be played in Kuwait have been put on hold for the time being.

27,000 capacity

Jeddah-Stadium.jpgThe venue will be the Abdullah al-Faisal Stadium, which holds 27,000 people and is shared by Al Ittihad and local rivals Ahly. The FC Barcelona expedition will leave Catalonia on Sunday 25 and will be coming straight back once the game is over.

2005 World Clubs Cup

Al Ittihad is the oldest club in Saudi Arabia, and also one of the most successful. Their most important international achievement was fourth place at the 2005 World Clubs Cup. They won their quarter final against Egyptian outfit Al-Ahly and then almost surprised Brazilian side São Paulo in the semi finals (the game ended 2-3), the side which went on the collect the title.

A home-made team

Ittihad-Team.jpgThe current squad is managed by Argentinian Gabriel Calderón, and is made up entirely of players from the country, apart from three foreigners, Guinean Alhassane Keita and Brazilians Alvés and Tcheco. But the club has an illustrious past, and among its famous players in the past, we find Brazil’s Bebeto and Italian Roberto Donadoni, as well as the brother of a former Barcelona player, Richard Witschge, Rob Witschge.

Friendly in Saudi Arabia on May 26
Second visit to Middle East
This is not the first time FC Barcelona have ended a season in the region, for just one year ago they went to Egypt to play Al-Ahly in Cairo ( 0-4 ). It was in that match that Bojan Krkic made his first team debut for FC Barcelona.

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