Barcelona to tour Asia in 2019 after consecutive visits to United States
Barcelona have announced that they will tour Asia next summer, bringing to an end a run of two consecutive years visiting the United States.
The La Liga champions have confirmed that they will visit Japan and China, but have not yet revealed details of the matches they will play. Barca had spent the last two summers in the U.S playing in the International Champions Cup (ICC).
Sources have confirmed to ESPN FC that the club still plan to take part in the ICC, which hosts games across North America, Europe and Asia every preseason.
The Catalan club are also studying the possibility of playing against Vissel Kobe in Japan as part of their sponsorship deal with Rakuten.
Japanese commerce company Rakuten are the owners of Vissel Kobe, the club where Andres Iniesta is currently playing after leaving Barca earlier this year.
It will be Barcelona's first time in Asia since they played a friendly in Qatar in 2016. They also took part in the Club World Cup in Japan in 2015 and visited Thailand and Malaysia in 2013.
"The tour will reaffirm the club's commitment to the Asian market where we have a higher concentration of fans than anywhere else in the world," Barca said in a statement.
"Football is also a fast-growing sport in countries like China and Japan, where the club is not only looking to do business, but also to seek new fans and build their loyalty."
The Blaugrana have 11 regional partners, three global partners (Konami, Oppo and Milo) and their main partner, Rakuten, based in Asia.