FC Barcelona’s Argentinian striker Lionel Messi celebrates after scoring the opening goal against Valencia CF during the Spanish Liga Primera Division match played at Mestalla Stadium, in Valencia, eastern Spain in this Septemebnr 3, 2013 file picture.
DOHA: Qatar will host a FC Barcelona friendly match early next year, said the club’s spokesman Toni Freixa.
According to an article posted on the official FC Barcelona website earlier this week, Freixa said the date of the match ‘will be announced shortly’. The match is part of an agreement which the three-time European champions signed with Qatar Sports Investment in 2010. The opposition is yet to be confirmed.
Brazilian superstar Neymar (pictured below) looks set to be among the squad members that will travel to Doha, along with Cesc Fabregas, Xavi, and Andrea Iniesta.
Four-time World Player of the Year Lionel Messi, who had visited Qatar in May as part of an Ooredoo initiative, could also feature, after media reports confirmed the Argentine is making good progress in his recovery from a hamstring injury.
As part of the deal, FC Barcelona played a friendly match against French champions Paris-Saint Germain (PSG) at the Parc des Princes in August this year, where the Catalan club triumphed 4-1 on penalties after the match ended 2-2.
In the same month, FC Barcelona, coached by Gerardo Martino, hosted two football clinics for Israeli and Palestinian children. The trip, which was attended by some of the club’s high profile players including Xavi and Messi, was a way to promote peace between Israelis and Palestinians “in the spirit of sportsmanship, moderation and patience.”
Earlier this year, FC Barcelona signed a sponsorship deal with Qatar Sports Investment, that saw Qatar Airways feature on the club jerseys from the 2013-2014 season. The deal also saw Qatar Foundation as the Official Human Development Partner, which will allow them to continue promoting their shared values.