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Posted at 1:24 PM ET, 12/23/2010

FedEx Field to Host Barcelona-Manchester United in July

By Paul Tenorio and Steve Goff

An agreement has been reached in principle that will bring two of the world's most popular and successful soccer clubs to the Washington area this summer, according to sources.

Spanish league champion FC Barcelona announced on its website Thursday that it will face English power Manchester United in Washington D.C. on July 30, 2011. Sources confirmed that while a deal is not yet official, an agreement has been reached in which FedEx Field would host the friendly - one of three in Barcelona's summer tour of the United States.

Barcelona, which toured the U.S. in 2008 and 2009, will also play A.C. Milan (Italy) in Miami on Aug. 3 and Club America (Mexico) in Dallas on Aug. 6, according to its website.

Washington Redskins spokesman Tony Wyllie said the team could not comment on whether a deal has been reached but that "we are always looking to have premier sporting events at FedEx Field."

The D.C. metropolitan area has played host to several matches featuring some of the world's top clubs in recent years.

Barcelona faced Italian power A.C. Milan in a friendly at RFK Stadium in 2003, a match that debuted Brazilian star Ronaldinho with the Spanish club, and D.C. United has hosted several European clubs in its history - including Real Madrid, Chelsea, Celtic and Tottenham Hotspur. United most recently upset A.C. Milan, 3-2, in a friendly at RFK Stadium on May 26.

United's 3-0 friendly loss to Madrid at FedEx Field on Aug. 9, 2009 drew a crowd of 72,368.

Baltimore's M&T Bank Stadium has also played host to friendly matches in recent years, including one this summer featuring Italian club Inter Milan and English side Manchester City.

Barcelona and Manchester United are among the most prestigious clubs in the sport and have enjoyed extraordinary success in their histories, both domestically and internationally.

Barcelona won its second straight Spanish La Liga title last season, the 20th in club history, and captured European championships in 1992, 2006 and 2009.

With a star-studded roster that includes some of the world's top players - including Lionel Messi, Xavi and Andres Iniesta, all of whom were nominated for the 2010 Ballon d'Or as the top player in the world - Barcelona currently sits atop the Spanish Primera Division, two points ahead of rival Real Madrid.

Valued at $1.84 billion, Manchester United is the world's richest, and largely considered to be the world's most popular, club. It is also one of the most successful, capturing English Premier League/Football League Division One titles 18 times in its history, including three straight from 2007-09. United has also claimed a record 11 FA Cup titles and won European championships in 1968, 1999 and 2008.

Featuring England striker Wayne Rooney, Bulgarian striker Dimitar Berbatov, Portuguese winger Nani and 22-year-old Mexican star Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez, United also currently sits atop its domestic table, two points ahead of Arsenal.

Several players, including Hernandez and Argentina's Messi, will have just completed national team duty at the Copa America tournament a week prior to the friendly and might require rest before the start of the league season in August.

By Paul Tenorio and Steve Goff  | December 23, 2010; 1:24 PM ET
Categories:  Argentina, Barcelona, England, Mexico, Real Madrid, Spain, World  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Happy holidays from the Soccer Insider
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Go because you hope to have fun, not because the game has any significance on US footy (it doesn't), or because you want to see 'Rooney v Messi' (1 won't make it...) or whatever.

A pleasant summer tailgate? That'll work if it fits your budget and calendar...

Posted by: JkR- | December 23, 2010 2:49 PM | Report abuse

. . . and you get to see Sir Alex in shorts doin his Jersey Shore thang, like he did last year in Houston . . .

I think it will be fun, I only wish it were at M&T for pre- and post- activity.

Rooney? Who's Rooney?

Posted by: OWNTF | December 23, 2010 3:03 PM | Report abuse

I'm excited. Even if no Messi, I love watching XavIniesta work. Pedro, Villa, Alves, are all reasons to go see Barca. I cant make it to Spain during the season, so getting to see them here in the summer is the best I can do, and I will! :D

Posted by: DonR19 | December 23, 2010 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: edgeonyou | December 23, 2010 4:40 PM | Report abuse

1. Barcelona.
2. Manchester United.
3. At Dannyland.

Put all three together, and it spells "reasonably priced tickets"!

Posted by: christopher_a_metzler | December 23, 2010 4:52 PM | Report abuse

I agree with JkR, if I am in DC and can afford it I will go and have fun.

Posted by: grubbsbl | December 23, 2010 5:10 PM | Report abuse

From the previous thread:

Let's hope it's not ungodly hot...and that they have enough sense to schedule an evening match. For the $100+ a ticket they're going to charge. I'd like to be comfortable.

Posted by: fischy | December 23, 2010 10:54 AM

I suspect that TV considerations will dictate that this will be an afternoon game (i.e., evening in the respective teams' media markets).

Posted by: universityandpark | December 23, 2010 7:12 PM | Report abuse

I suspect that TV considerations will dictate that this will be an afternoon game (i.e., evening in the respective teams' media markets).

Posted by: universityandpark | December 23, 2010 7:12 PM

I can't recall any other summer touring friendlies being scheduled in the afternoon, unless it was part of an MLS all-star game or something like that.



Posted by: jayrockers | December 23, 2010 8:02 PM | Report abuse

I can't recall any other summer touring friendlies being scheduled in the afternoon, unless it was part of an MLS all-star game or something like that.

I think that 72,368 people may beg to differ (see above).

Posted by: universityandpark | December 23, 2010 8:21 PM | Report abuse

Maybe DCU can horn in on the action, with a doubleheader? They could reimburse the teams for seats for season ticketholders.... They could even use it as a selling point for season tickets. Or, at least get some greater exposure? If it's too complicated for an MLS game, DCU could schedule their own exhibition -- not for revenue, of course, but they could help sell tickets for the game and benefit by the exposure.

Posted by: fischy | December 23, 2010 10:22 PM | Report abuse

Incredible video of INCREDIBLE fan support for a U12 team.

270, has your team mom organized anything like this?

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | December 23, 2010 11:04 PM | Report abuse

OK, someone needs to say it:

I hope the Eurosnobs roast to death.

Posted by: Hoost | December 23, 2010 11:15 PM | Report abuse

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. ;)
I'm guessing I could better spend my money going to 2-3 DCU matches with the money I'd spend on this one. Or at the very least match the expense of a trip to Chester and/or Harrison in 2011.
Rich in love and beer I am, not in actual money though. Maybe my rich brother in law will want to go and buy me a ticket...:)

Posted by: DadRyan | December 24, 2010 7:27 AM | Report abuse

My one and only visit to FedEx was the DCU-RM match in 09. I just did not like the vibe of that place...and it was possibly the hottest and worst day ever for a game.

Happy Holidays everyone.

Posted by: DCB23 | December 24, 2010 9:56 AM | Report abuse

FedEx is a vacuous place with no soul. Quite possibly the worst venue for soccer on the East Coast.

Posted by: alecw81 | December 24, 2010 1:19 PM | Report abuse

Barcelona can confirm the game, but the Redskins can't even comment on it. geeezz

Posted by: cr10 | December 29, 2010 2:48 PM | Report abuse

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