Hectic pre-season schedules for Barca, Real Madrid

Madrid, July 9 (IANS) Primera Liga Champions FC Barcelona and runners-up Real Madrid had better stock up on reading material and video-games and prepare to fasten their seatbelts as it looks like they are all in for a busy summer in terms of travelling.

Financial and commercial and marketing commitments will see both clubs, both of whom return to training in the next seven days, go almost all around the world to play their pre-season preparation games, reports Xinhua.

Barcelona have completed details of a tour that will see them travel over 30,000 kilometers, with some players condemned to travel even more.

The side coached by Tito Vilanova will play their first friendly game in the Polish city of Danzig July 20 before facing Bayern Munich, who are now coached by former Barca boss Pep Guardiola.

After taking on Bayern in what is certain to be an emotional affair for many of the players, Barca then travel to Oslo (Norway) for a friendly game against Valerenga, before jetting back to Barcelona to face Brazilian outfit Santos, who they have just bought Neymar from, in the traditional Joan Gamper trophy.

After the Gamper, Barca head east across the Mediterranean to Israel and Palestine to participate in a 'campus' to help promote the game and peace in the region.

Asia is the next stop after the Middle East with the Catalans visiting the continent for the fifth time with one game against Thailand in Bangkok and another in Kuala Lumpur, August 10, just seven days before they are due to kick off the defence of their league title August 18.

However, the Spain internationals in the Barca squad could face another long journey given that Spain play a friendly in Ecuador, 19,000 kilometers from the Asian capital, August 14.

Real Madrid's summer plans are no less taxing; starting with a friendly game on the south coast of England against second tier side, Bournemouth, July 21.

Three days later they are in France to take on Lyon, before flying north to play Paris Saint Germain in the Swedish city of Gothenburg.

After the sojourn in Europe, Real Madrid fly to Los Angeles for some serious training for the fourth consecutive year. While in California they will play David Beckham's former side, the LA Galaxy before playing another match in the sweltering heat of Miami and the final game of their tour August 10 in Saint Louis. It means Spain internationals will have to cross the Atlantic three times (US-Spain; Spain-Ecuador; Ecuador-Spain) before the big kick off August 17.

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