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Barcelona announces Shanghai friendly


16:13, March 06, 2013

BARCELONA will play a friendly match in Shanghai this summer as part of its three-game Asian tour, it was confirmed on Monday.

Club spokesman Toni Freixa said Barcelona will play in Shanghai on August 4, before playing in Bangkok on August 7 and in Kuala Lumpur on August 10.

Although the pre-season friendly will take place almost a month before the start of the 2013-14 season, the full Barca squad with all of its star players, including Lionel Messi and Andres Iniesta, will be available for the tour since there is no World Cup or European Championship played this summer.

Barcelona now has an 11 point lead over Atletico Madrid and a 13 point advantage over Real Madrid in the Spanish league.

However, the Catalan side has seen its recent form drop badly, losing 2-0 away to AC Milan in the Champions League and twice to fierce rival Real Madrid, including a 2-1 setback on Saturday.

Manager Tito Vilanova is in New York for cancer treatment, leaving the team in the hands of his assistant, Jordi Roura.

Club President Sandro Rosell traveled to see Vilanova in New York last week and said the coach was in good spirits.

"Considering he is in treatment and bearing in mind his medical situation, I have seen Tito in really good spirits and completely up to date with what is happening every day at the club. He said that since he has been in New York he has seen more games than ever," said Rosell, adding Vilanova may be back by the end of March.

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