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USA Tour 2024: FC Barcelona scout report


A close look at City’s third opponents during our 2024 summer tour of the United States.

After facing Celtic and AC Milan earlier on the trip, Pep Guardiola‘s history makers will play FC Barcelona at the Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Florida.

Kick-off will be at 19:00 (EDT) on Tuesday 30 July for those in the US, while UK fans should set their watches for a 00:00 (UK) start on Wednesday 31 July.

Tickets are available to purchase here, while the match will also be shown live around the world on CITY+.

USA TOUR 2024 HUB PAGE

Ahead of City’s return to the USA, we take a quick look at what Barcelona will have in store, including their key players and historic successes.

History

Barcelona are undoubtedly one of Europe’s leading clubs, having enjoyed considerable success in Spain and on the continent.

Since they were founded in in 1899 by a group of Swiss, Catalan, German, and English footballers led by Joan Gamper, they have lifted a total of 99 major honours outside of their regional competitions in Catalonia.

That includes 27 La Liga titles and five Champions League triumphs, whilst they have won the FIFA Club World Cup on three occasions.

The club are also a status symbol on and off the pitch for the Catalan people and way of life.

Barcelona’s home kit is iconic and instantly recognisable to football fans all over the world, nicknamed the ‘Blaugrana’ owing to its blue and garnet colouring.

Tickets | Watch City v Barcelona in Orlando

Barcelona are the joint-most successful club when it comes to being the home of a Ballon d’Or winner, with 12 of the victors plying their trade at the Camp Nou.

Six of those occasions belong to Lionel Messi, with Luis Suarez (1960), Johan Cruyff (1973 and 1974), Hristo Stoichkov (1994), Rivaldo (1999) and Ronaldinho (2005) also claiming the honour while at Barcelona.

Manager: Hansi Flick

The former Bayern Munich and Germany national team boss is this summer taking over at Barcelona after Xavi’s departure following the end of the 2023/24 season.

Flick, now 59, played for Bayern and FC Koln in the 1980s and 90s before heading into coaching.

He spent five years at Hoffenheim between 2000 and 2005 before becoming Joachim Low’s assistant with the German national side.

He initially joined Bayern in the summer of 2019 as Nico Kovac’s assistant, but took charge when Kovac left in November of that year.

His first season proved monumentally successful, winning the Bundesliga, DFB Pokal and Champions League Treble. He backed it up with the league the following season before coaching the national team for two seasons.

Key players

Pedri and Lamine Yamal are two of Spain’s central figures as they continue to impress at Euro 2024, with fellow creative midfielder Gavi only missing out through injury.

Pedri, 21, is a player schooled in Barcelona’s style of football – elegant on the ball and hard working off it. 

Yamal, still just 16, is a pacey winger that has shone in his first 12 months in senior football.

Also in attacking areas, Robert Lewandowski remains one of Europe’s most lethal finishers.

At the other end of the pitch, Marc Andre ter Stegen has been a stellar goalkeeper for more than a decade at the top level now and only denied the No.1 shirt at international level by the presence of Manuel Neuer for Germany.

Links to City

Barcelona’s links to City are extensive and include some of the most important people at the Club today.

Tickets | Watch City v Barcelona in Orlando

Just as he now is in Manchester, Pep Guardiola is an iconic figure in Barcelona having grown up a fan, played for the club and then coached the team that many regard to be their greatest ever.

His relationship with Ferran Soriano and Txiki Begiristain was pivotal to Barcelona’s success between 2008 and 2012 just as it has been to ours in recent years.

On the pitch, former City captain Ilkay Gundogan is one of Barcelona’s main men. Gundogan will forever be remembered at City as the man that led to that 2022/23 Treble success.

Also in the current squad are former City men Ferran Torres and Eric Garcia.

Joao Cancelo, our full-back, also spent the 2023/24 term on loan in Catalonia.

Stretching further back, Sergio Aguero, Claudio Bravo, Nolito, Yaya Toure, Sylvinho and Geovanni have all worn the shirts of both sides.

Previous meetings

City and Barcelona have met in seven friendlies and six competitive matches in the past.

Of the friendlies, both sides have won three and lost three with the most recent meeting, in August 2022, ending in a draw.

City’s previous meetings with FC Barcelona

Our first friendly win came in 1986 before we welcomed Frank Rijkaard’s team of all-stars to open the Etihad Stadium in 2003 and won 2-1.

2009 saw City lift the Joan Gamper Trophy at the Camp Nou with a goal from winger Martin Petrov.

All six competitive encounters came in the Champions League between 2014 and 2016, with City winning just once.

2023/24 performance

Due to renovation work on the Camp Nou, Barcelona played at the city’s Olympic Stadium for the 1992 Games during 2023/24.

Defending their La Liga crown, they eventually finished 10 points behind new winners Real Madrid – collecting 85 points from 38 games.

In the cups, there were quarter-final exits in the Copa Del Rey and Champions League at the hands of Athletic Club and Paris Saint-Germain respectively.

Robert Lewandowsi was the top scorer with 26 goals across all competitions, while our former man Ilkay Gundogan was the most used player with 51 appearances in total.



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