Adelaide coach talks up Barcelona friendly

The new man in charge at Hindmarsh Stadium says his Catalan connections can make a dream visit of Barca Down Under a reality ahead of the 2014-15 campaign

Adelaide United coach Josep Gombau claims he has what it takes to lure Barcelona to Australia for a pre-season friendly next year.

Melbourne Victory stole the spotlight in this off-season by arranging a friendly against Liverpool, while Football Federation Australia and the New South Wales state government succeeded in bringing Manchester United to Sydney to play an A-League All Stars XI.

Those glamorous exhibitions will not be easily surpassed, but if any team is capable of triggering the same level of excitement, it is La Liga champions Barca.

Gombau has previously worked for the Catalan giants as a youth coach and believes he could make a difference in any negotiations aimed at tempting the Camp Nou outfit to South Australia.

"I have the right connections," he told The Advertiser.

"I can speak with the club [and] with the persons that are involved with these kinds of games but of course to bring Barcelona here you need a lot of money because their fee is high.

"It's something that Adelaide United need to think (about) and if they need my help I can give them that."

However, any fans hoping to see Lionel Messi and Neymar in Australia soon may be wise to bear in mind Gombau's previous comments, and temper their enthusiasm accordingly.

The 37-year-old made headlines upon his appointment as Adelaide coach by claiming that a 200-game Barca player had been in touch about moving to Hindmarsh Stadium, triggering frenzied speculation among some supporters as to the identity of the mystery star.

But to date, Adelaide's only Spanish on-field recruits have been Segunda Division midfielder Isaias Sanchez and forward Sergio Cirio, a journeyman from Catalonia's regional league.

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