Club announce second friendly as part of the club’s Japan pre-season tour

Chelsea have announced this morning that the Blues will be playing a second match in Japan this summer against the current La Liga champions and five-time UEFA Champions League winners Barcelona, on July 23rd.

The friendly, which will take place four days after we play the current J. League champions Kawasaki Frontale in Yokohama, will be part of the Rakuten Cup (which also includes Japanese side Vissel Kobe) that was announced in Japan earlier today.

It what will be a historic meeting between two European giants, local fans will have the rare opportunity to see two of the biggest teams in the world compete at one of the finest venues in Japan, the Saitama Stadium.

Expect the likes of Lionel Messi and N’Golo Kanté to face-off against each other in Japan (Photo Sources: Getty Images,)

The stadium, which has a capacity of 63,700, hosted four games at the 2002 World Cup, including co-host Japan’s first game against Belgium and the Semi-Final between Brazil and Turkey.

Chelsea Chairman Bruce Buck, talking on today’s announcement said:

“We are incredibly excited to announce this match against Barcelona and our participation in the Rakuten Cup, which promises to be an exciting showcase for Japanese football fans.

‘It is a huge honour for Chelsea to play in this historic game, and we would like to thank Rakuten for its role as special sponsor of the match and the J. League for hosting it. I am sure it will be a fantastic experience and we anticipate a great contest against Barcelona, with whom we have enjoyed a healthy and competitive rivalry in recent years.

‘This second fixture, following our match against Kawasaki Frontale, offers us further opportunity to demonstrate our successful partnership with The Yokohama Rubber Company in their home country and we look forward to confirming further plans in the coming months.”

– Bruce Buck

Kick-off time and ticket information for the two Japanese matches will be announced soon.

Vissel Kobe, FC Barcelona and Chelsea – The three teams taking part in the Rakuten Cup

With today’s announcement of the club facing Barcelona this coming July, here’s an updated list of the confirmed post-/pre-season schedule:

• May 15th – Chelsea vs. New England Revolution (Foxborough, MA, USA)
• July 19th – Chelsea vs. Kawasaki Frontale (Yokohama, Japan)
• July 23rd – Chelsea vs. Barcelona (Saitama, Japan)

Terry Sazio

What are your thoughts on today’s announcement? Let us know via our officialTwitter and via Terry’s personal Twitter as well.