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Barcelona, Napoli to compete for new trophy in USA


Fans celebrate with Barcelona’s Lionel Messi, with shirt number 10, after Messi scored his side’s second goal during the Champions League semifinal first leg soccer match between FC Barcelona and Liverpool at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Spain, Wednesday, May 1, 2019. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)


Barcelona and Napoli will play a two-legged final in the U.S. this summer.

The duo will play a friendly double-header in the first edition of the LaLiga-Serie A Cup, with the first game in Miami and then three days later they’ll square off in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Barca are the reigning La Liga champs, while Napoli finished runners up in Serie A last season. Juventus, the reigning Serie A champs, are spending their preseason in the Far East, so that’s probably why Napoli have stepped in to play Barca in this two showpiece games.

Josep Maria Bartomeu revealed Barcelona’s delight at heading back to the U.S. for preseason for the third-straight campaign.

“Visiting the United States and being able to get closer to our fans is always a great thing for Barca. On top of that, we will also have the chance to play at two iconic stadiums: at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, where in 2017 we played the La Liga Clasico, and at Michigan Stadium, the largest in the United States. While there, we hope to put on a show and entertain our American fans with our style of play,” Bartomeu said.

Napoli president Aurelio de Laurentiis added that their first trip to the USA for three decades will be a memorable one.

“Our club has not visited the country for thirty years and the chance to go back to the American market for these two games and against an opponent like Barca is extraordinary for us.”

The Spanish league have been pushing hard to move a regular-season game to Miami but La Liga clubs and players have pushed back at the idea of taking a game overseas.

Earlier this month in Madrid La Liga president Javier Tebas explained to Pro Soccer Talk why it was so important for the Spanish top-flight to try and become more visible in the North American market.

“We want one match, one per season. It is the only place in the world we want to do this,” Tebas said. “Why? Because it is part of our international strategy. The same as the big American competitions play a match outside their country. That is bring to bring the game closer to their fans abroad. One match out of the 380 matches that are played. We thought it was interesting because it is a global phenomenon. Everybody has found out about it. It would really help us to increase our brand value in the United States.”

Barcelona and Napoli will be bringing their brands to the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, Florida on Aug. 7 and Michigan Stadium, Ann Arbor on Aug. 10

Follow @JPW_NBCSports