The greatest rivalry in club soccer is coming to the United States for the first time. Real Madrid and Barcelona will face each other in Miami on July 29 as part of the International Champions Cup.
A formal announcement of the game will come on Friday.
Organizing a Clásico in the U.S. required an enormous amount of diplomacy. Miami Dolphins owner Steve Ross, who owns the ICC through his company Relevent Sports, flew in his private plane to Spain last December along with Matt Higgins (the RSE Ventures CEO) and Charlie Stillitano (the Relevent chairman).
On December 2, the day before El Clásico, the Americans had a breakfast meeting in Madrid with Real Madrid president Florentino Pérez and other club executives to discuss the possibility of arranging a game against Barcelona in the States. Then Ross, Higgins and Stillitano jumped back in their plane to fly to Barcelona for a lunch meeting the same day with Barça president Josep Maria Bartomeu and his top lieutenants.
After several more weeks of calls and negotiations, they reached a deal. The game will take place at Hard Rock Stadium, the home of the Dolphins, and be preceded by several days of events in the Miami area.
This will be the second time that Real Madrid and Barcelona have met outside of Spain. The only previous time was in Venezuela in 1982.