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12.06.2008 12:46

Pre-season venues

Jordi Clos

Barça will play five friendlies in Scotland, Italy and the USA during the summer before starting their Champions League campaign and raising the curtain on the new season against Boca in the Joan Gamper. Most of the stadiums will be very familiar.

The only unknown quantity is who Barça will have to overcome in the Champions League to qualify for the group stage. However, Pep Guardiola already knows the rivals he will face in Scotland, Florence and the USA before the league season starts.

Murrayfield again

Between 21st and 26th July, Barça will embark for the second season in a row on a pre-season training camp in Saint Andrews (Scotland). The first friendly will be against Hibernian on 24th. The Edinburgh club, which was founded in 1875, plays at Easter Road but the match will be held at the 67,800 capacity Murrayfield, the home of Scottish rugby. Last season, Barça beat Hearts 1-3 in the same stadium.

The legend of Tannadice Park

dundeefcb_x4x.JPGBarça’s second rival will be Dundee United (26th July), who they beat 0-1 last year. Tannadice Park was opened in 1882 and is thus one of the oldest football stadiums in the world. It currently holds 14,200 spectators but the record attendance of 28,000 was in a 1966 Fairs Cup match between Dundee United and FC Barcelona.


The third friendly of the summer will be against Fiorentina in Florence on 30th July. The last time Barça played in the 47,000 capacity stadium was in the 1999-00 season in the Champions League. Barça, managed by Louis Van Gaal, fought out a 3-3 draw.

US tour

The last two friendlies before the Champions League qualifying matches will take place in the United States. On 3rd August Barça will face CD Guadalajara in Chicago’s Soldiers Field stadium. The last match will be against the New York Red Bulls in the Giants Stadium.

The Soldiers Field stadium is the only summer venue that Barça has never visited before. The stadium is home to the Chicago Bears of the NFL and has a capacity of 61,500 spectators. However, New York’s Giants Stadium will be well known to a number of the Barça players as Barça played the New York Red Bulls there in front of 80,000 fans in 2006. Apart from football – it was one of the host venues for the 1994 World Cup – the stadium is home to the city’s two NFL teams.
Foto: Giants Stadium (2006).
Foto: Giants Stadium (2006).
Sixth destination unknown
Barça’s sixth destination of the summer will be announced on 1st August, when the draw is made for the third qualifying round of the Champions League. The first leg will be played on 12th or 13th August and the second leg on 26th or 27th August.

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