FC Barcelona Asia Tour 2013: A summer of passion and football
Written by Oryx
Qatar Airways flies FC Barcelona to Malaysia and Thailand for two friendly matches.
Messi, Neymar, Xavi, Iniesta, and more, will star in a summer of passion and football during the club’s fifth visit to Asia. Thousands of fans on the continent are expected to head to stadiums in Thailand and Malaysia where the Catalonian club is scheduled to play two friendly matches during August.
The four-time Champions League winners are travelling courtesy of Qatar Airways, resulting from the recently established partnership between the two entities. The agreement also sees the 5-star airline graces the club’s main team strip, making Qatar Airways the first-ever commercial sponsor to appear on the Barcelona uniform.
The Asia Tour 2013 will include a match at Bangkok’s national stadium Rajamangala on August 7, against Thailand’s national team, and a second one at Kuala Lumpur’s Bukit Jalil stadium, on August 10, against an invitation side drawn from the country’s top-flight football leagues best players.
This year’s trip marks the first time Barcelona will appear in Malaysia, while the football club returns to Thailand following more than a decade since its previous visit.
Qatar Airways and FC Barcelona are very popular and well-known brands across Southeast Asia and the highly anticipated visits to both countries will give thousands of football fans in the region the chance to see their favourite stars showcase their talents right on their doorstep.
The pre-season anticipation is building, with fans across the world anxious to see Barcelonas first team play, and both matches are expected to sell out.
Barcelona first toured Asia in 2004, playing four matches through South Korea, Japan, and China, ending with three victories and a draw. The following year, the first team returned to China and Japan playing club teams Yokohama Marinos and Shenzhen Jian Li Bao, finishing with a draw and a victory.
Following the success of these two visits to the Orient, the Barcelona team has toured on two other occasions. During the 2007 pre-season, FC Barcelona played both the Chinese and Japanese national teams. The most recent visit to Asia was in 2010, when the stars turned out against South Korea and China.
As airline partner, Qatar Airways has helped make this year’s tour possible by connecting the Barcelona team to their Asian fans and providing the means that allow the club to strengthen its bonds with its global family of supporters.
Since its inception, FC Barcelona has been known not only as a footballing organisation, but also for having a strong global community of support. This is why the ‘More Than a Club’ catchphrase, established in the late 1960s by club president Narcís de Carreras, also sees media attention on Barcelona focus beyond the sport itself.
More than a club, more than a shirt...
The city of Barcelona has inspired the designs of the FC Barcelona shirts for the coming season, with new strips for both home and away games.
For the first time in their history, this season Barça will play in a new away kit that is based on the red and yellow colours of the Catalan flag, the Senyera. The away shirt features a yellow ribbed crew neck with a red trim, and mirrors the design of the home shirt, with the traditional stripes on the body and the modern graphic fade stripe on the sleeves, but in yellow and red.
The home strip once again displays the traditional FC Barcelona red and blue stripes with a modern graphic fade stripe featured on the sleeves. The shirt also features a vibrant yellow v-neck collar to represent the Catalan flag, which is also fully integrated into the back of the collar. The Senyera’s red and yellow stripes also feature inside in the hem of the shirt.
Inside the back of the neck of both home and away kits is a luxury woven label featuring the clubs motto ‘més que un club’ (more than a club).
The kits are made from Nike’s revolutionary recycled polyester; the shirt and shorts of each kit are made from up to 13 recycled plastic water bottles. This pioneering process, in which plastic bottles are melted down into a yarn that is then spun into recycled polyester, reduces energy consumption by up to 30% compared to manufactured polyester.
Both kits have a more athletic and dynamic fit thanks to the innovative programme led by Nike of scanning the bodies of some of the world’s best players to produce a design more tailored to the contours of their anatomy.
FC Barcelona will be playing Bangkok’s national stadium Rajamangala on August 7, and Kuala Lumpurs Bukit Jalil on August 10.
By the numbers
Team with most European trophies (4 Champions Leagues, 4 European Cup-Winners Cups, 3 Fairs Cups, and 4 European Super Cups).
Fan clubs around the world
Longest unbeaten run in official matches (23 wins and five draws in 17 games in Liga, 5 in Copa, and 6 in Champions League).
Followers on social media
League goals scored last season which came from locally bred talent (from a total of 115).
Cost in euros for cheapest tickets at Camp Nou
Year with most official titles: Copa del Rey, Liga, Champions League, Spanish Supercup, European Supercup, and Clubs World Cup.