Barcelona squad arrives in Washington ahead of nine-day US tour

The Barcelona team have landed in Washington ahead of their busy US tour that will see them take on defeated Champions League final opponents Manchester United at the Fedex Field in Landover, Maryland on Saturday.

They flew direct from Munich after beating Bayern Munich 2-0 to lift the Audi Cup thanks to two goals from Thiago Alcantara. On the flight over Pedro celebrated his 24th birthday with his teammates after being presented with a cake by Turkish Airlines staff.

Also on the agenda is a meeting today between club representatives and Bill and Melinda Gates to sign an alliance between their respective charity foundations. The ambitious venture aims to radically reduce the spread of diseases and improve the health and fitness of young people in the world’s poorest regions. The agreement will utilise Barcelona’s ever-growing profile to raise funds and awareness of the related causes.

The US trip will also see the inauguration of the Official Barcelona Supporters’ club in Washington (fcbarcelonadc), a charity dinner hosted by the Washington Redskins and Coach Pep Guardiola will take part in the 2011 Celebrity Soccer Challenge match in aid of the Mia Hamm Foundation and the Children’s National Medical Centre.

Next week the Champions League winners head to Miami where they are scheduled to swim with dolphins before taking on Chivas Guadalajara at the Sun Life Stadium on August 3. They round-off their hectic itinerary with a match against Club America at the Cowboys Stadium in Dallas on August 6 before heading back home for the Copa Catalunya semi-final against Girona just two days later.

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