Imagine the Yankees and Red Sox at Wembley Stadium, or the Cowboys and Redskins battling it out in Munich’s Allianz Stadium. That’s what you’re in for when you watch the EPL’s Manchester United and La Liga’s FC Barcelona battle on American soil—at Washington, DC’s FedEx Field no less. If this doesn’t cause an international incident, “Friendly” or not, we’d be surprised.
Even though they play in separate countries and leagues, the teams are well acquainted. It was only in May when the two played for the UEFA Champions League title, which is the crowning achievement in soccer outside of the World Cup, at Wembley. The Spanish team, directed by world dynamo Lionel Messi, beat the Wayne Rooney-led Red Devils 3-1 on their home turf. It was the third time in six years Barcelona were crowned UEFA champs, and second time in a row the title was won against Man United, who themselves had been to three out of the last four UEFA finals.
The match will be the final one for both teams, culminating the tours both would have been on throughout the summer. Manchester United will be facing MLS talent, taking on the league’s All-Star team, New England Revolution and Chicago Fire, with scheduled stars like Rooney, Dimitar Berbatov and Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez. Barca will be knocking around the field against international talent, A.C. Milan in Miami and Club America in Dallas. Besides Messi, other stars who could grace the pitch are David Villa and Xavi Hernandez.
It’s going to be game-on at FedEx Field on July 30, 2011. So wear your favorite club’s kit and scarf, practice your chants and get ready to see some world-class soccer (or football/futbol, if you prefer). On that Saturday, there’s nowhere else most fans will want to be.