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14.07.2007 18:08

Less games, but more travelling

Berta Brau

FC Barcelona will an embark on a pre-season tour this summer that sees them play less games than last year, but cover a greater distance as they prepare for the new campaign.

Frank Rijkaard's team are due to cover 28,059 kilometres by air as they jet across the globe to play seven matches in Edinburgh, Beijing, Yokohama, Hong Kong and Munich.

Scotland first

On July 23, the Blaugrana will kick things off by travelling 1,700 kilometres to the Scottish capital Edinburgh and then on to their hotel in nearby St Andrews. Three days after their arrival they will play Dundee United (July 26) and then 48 hours later they will take on Heart of Midlothian (July 28). Once the visit to Scotland has finished the squad will return to Barcelona and continue with pre-season training before heading to the Far East.

8.816 kilometers from Barcelona to Beijing

Rafael Márquez and Lionel Messi will reunite with the Barça squad, having been given extra holiday due to their participation in the Copa América, as they fly to Beijing for their first game on the Asian tour. The Blaugrana will take on Beijing Guoan on August 5 in the Fengtai Stadium. The Chinese side, coached by Lee Jang-Soo, have won three FA Cups (1996, 1997 and 2003) and two Chinese Super Cups (1998 and 2004).

Moving on to Japan

A further 2,111 kilometres to the west, Barcelona will take on Japanese outfit Yokohama Marinos in the NIssan Stadium, where the FIFA World Cup Final in 2002. The two teams have met before on two occasions since the Marinos turned professional 1992. They are coached by Hiroshi Hayano and have had Julio Salinas and Jon Andoni Goicoetxea on their staff in the past. Marinos have won the Japanese League on three occasions (1995, 2003 and 2004), the Emperor's Cup on six occasions and the Asian Cup Winners' Cup twice.

1,172 kilometers back to China

30-07-05_Xavi_01.jpgBarça then return to China with a 1,772-kilometre trip to Hong Kong where they will play a team called the Mission Hills Invitation XI, made up of players from Happy Valley FC and Kitchee FC on AUgust 10. The game will take place in the Hong King Stadium.
Back home

With the tour of Asia complete, the squad will fly back to Barcelona, a distance of 9,850 kilometres, on August 11 and three days later will head off to Munich, a mere 1,075 kilometres from the Ciutat Contal. The Blaugrana have agreed to play against Bayern Munich in the Allianz Arena for Mehmet Scholl's fairwell testimonial.

The pre-season schedule will see FC Barcelona travel more than 28,000 kilometres in just 25 days.
Less games, but more travelling
Ten days preparation
After the game against Bayern Munich, Frank Rijkaard will return with his players to begin preparations for the team's first official game of the 2007/08 campaign. The squad will have ten days to be ready for the opening match on the weekend of August 25 and 26 against Racing Santander in El Sardinero.

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