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Barcelona and Napoli set for American clash in first La Liga-Serie A Cup

11:46 IST 20/06/2019
Lionel Messi Barcelona 2018-19
The two European giants will square off in Miami and Ann Arbor ahead of the new season in early August

Barcelona have confirmed that they will face Napoli across a two-legged clash in the United States in the inaugural La Liga-Serie A Cup during their pre-season preparations this year.

The Spanish champions and Italian heavyweights will square off in two games played across two states in early August as part of their schedule ahead of the 2019-20 campaign.

The first encounter, on August 7, will take place at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, Florida, at the home of the NFL’s Miami Dolphins.

Barcelona were set to face Girona in a regular season La Liga fixture at the venue earlier this year, though the endeavour was ultimately shelved after it was met with strong opposition from FIFA and UEFA.

The second, three days later on August 10, will see the duo take in Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, at the University of Michigan, in what will be the largest venue either side has ever played in.

Affectionately known as ‘The Big House’, it is the second-largest stadium in the world after North Korea’s national football ground, with a current capacity of 107,601.

The fixtures represent Barcelona’s first visit since pre-season last year, when they played three International Champions Cup games in Pasadena, Arlington and Santa Clara, while Napoli make their first trip stateside for three decades.

Both teams professed their excitement at the upcoming fixtures, with club presidents Josep Maria Bartomeu and Aurelio de Laurentiis expressing their delight for the encounters.

"Visiting the United States and being able to get closer to our fans is always a great thing for Barca," Bartomeu stated.

"On top of that, we will also have the chance to play at two iconic stadiums: at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, where in 2017 we played the LaLiga Clasico, and at Michigan Stadium, the largest in the United States.

"While there, we hope to put on a show and entertain our American fans with our style of play."

"We could not be happier to be playing against Barcelona in the United States," added de Laurentiis.

"Our club has not visited the country for thirty years and the chance to go back to the American market for these two games and against an opponent like Barca is extraordinary for us."

Barcelona have already confirmed an additional pre-season trip to Japan, where they will face Vissel Kobe and Premier League outfit Chelsea.