Chapecoense to play Barcelona in Joan Gamper Trophy

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The Brazilian side have accepted the invitation to take part in the annual curtain-raiser to the season at Camp Nou

Barcelona will host grief-stricken Chapecoense in the Joan Gamper Trophy match at Camp Nou on August 7 to pay tribute to the 71 people who were killed in last year's tragic plane crash.

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Liga giants Barcelona invited Chapecoense to play in the traditional pre-season fixture after a plane carrying the Brazilian squad, technical commission and a number of journalists for the first leg of the Copa Sudamericana final against Atletico Nacional crashed en route to Medellin two days before the match was due to take place in November.

Only three members of the travelling squad survived - Neto, Alan Ruschel and Jackson Follmann – as Chapecoense were left heartbroken and struggling to field a team.

Barca and Chapecoense will pay homage to the victims in the 52nd edition of the Joan Gamper Trophy, with the Spanish powerhouses hoping to "help Chapecoense rebuild institutionally and recover the competitive level it had before the tragedy".

Chapecoense's revival has been remarkable in 2017, thanks to the help of loanees.

The Brazilians won the Santa Catarina state championship in May, after edging Avai in a two-legged play-off to retain the title they claimed in 2016.

Chapecoense also made their Copa Libertadores debut – finishing third in the group stage – and they now face a play-off against Defensa y Justicia in the Sudamericana.

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