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Barcelona to play in Australia for first time

SYDNEY (AFP) – Barcelona will play an A-League All Stars side in Sydney next month on their first trip to Australia, the Spanish giants said yesterday.

Xavi Hernandez’s team will meet a side comprising the best players from the country’s domestic league on May 25 at the 80,000-seat Stadium Australia.

“Being able to play this match will give us the opportunity to bring the club and its values closer to our fans,” said Barcelona marketing executive Juli Guiu in a statement.

“It will also give us the opportunity for new audiences to get to know FC Barcelona and all that it represents, which has made it a reference entity on and off the pitch.”

It is the third confirmed visit to Australia by a major European club this year.

Manchester United will take on English Premier League rivals Crystal Palace and Melbourne Victory at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in July, while Celtic are due in November for a four-team tournament.