Barcelona will make another appearance in the United States this summer as they prepare for a renewed assault on La Liga and the Champions League in 2017-18.
With new coach Ernesto Valverde replacing Luis Enrique at the helm, the Blaugrana will aim to re-take the two prizes they value the most next season having only managed to win the Copa del Rey in 2016-17.
They will get an early chance to test themselves against top opposition in the International Champions Cup, which will take place in late July.
This is your complete guide to the fixtures awaiting Barcelona during pre-season.
BARCELONA PRE-SEASON FIXTURES
|Date||Opponent||Time (local / BST)||Venue|
|Jul 22||Juventus||18:00 / 23:00||MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ|
|Jul 26||Manchester United||19:35 / 00:35||FedEx Field, Landover, MD|
|Jul 29||Real Madrid||19:30 / 00:30||Hard Rock Stadium, Miami Gardens, FL|
|Aug 7||Chapecoense||20:30 / 19:30||Camp Nou, Barcelona|
Barca will get their pre-season under way when they cross the Atlantic Ocean to participate in the latest International Champions Cup at the end of July.
Their first stop will be East Rutherford, New Jersey – just outside New York City – for a match against last season’s Champions League finalists Juventus at MetLife Stadium on July 22. The most expensive stadium ever built at a cost of $1.6 billion (more than double the price of Barca’s upcoming renovation of Camp Nou), it is the 82,500-seater home of the NFL’s New York Giants and New York Jets.
The Catalan club will then fly an hour south to Washington D.C. for a July 26 clash against Premier League giants Manchester United. That game will take place at the Washington Redskins’ FedEx Field, which holds 82,000 fans, in nearby Landover, Maryland.
Three days later is the biggest one of the lot; after a two-and-a-half-hour flight to Miami, Florida, the Blaugrana will face Real Madrid on July 29. The Miami Dolphins’ Hard Rock Stadium will host the game – the first Clasico played outside of Spain for 25 years – and a 65,000-plus sell-out can be expected in a city with a large Spanish-speaking population.
Additional fixtures could possibly be added before and after the ICC, but the only one we currently know about is the annual Joan Gamper Trophy at Camp Nou.
This year’s opponents will be Brazilian club Chapecoense, with Barca inviting them to take part in the match after the horrific plane crash that killed 71 people in November of last year. That game will take place on August 7, leading into the new competitive season.
WHEN DOES THE SEASON START?
The start dates for the Spanish season are yet to be confirmed, with fixtures not released until late July.
There has been conflicting information suggesting La Liga could start on the weekend of August 12 – a week earlier than usual – due to next year’s World Cup, but that is not official and clashes with the date of the first leg of the Supercopa de Espana.
Barca will play in that Supercopa as Copa del Rey winners against league champions Real Madrid, so we will see three Clasico encounters between the end of July and mid-August.
The second leg of the Supercopa – which will be played at the Santiago Bernabeu after the first is at Camp Nou – will take place on Tuesday, August 15.
If La Liga does kick off between August 11 and 13, it looks as if Barca’s first game will be pushed back rather than brought forward, as the Joan Gamper Trophy match against Chapecoense is scheduled for August 7.
Barca’s Champions League campaign, meanwhile, will begin when the group stage kicks off in September.