Why are Barcelona playing Manchester City? Camp Nou to host charity match between European giants

The European Cup season is in full swing but giants FC Barcelona and Manchester City will pause their competitive aspirations when they face off on August 24 in a charity match benefiting a cause that is close ties for both organisations.

The teams come together at the Camp Nou to support a former Pep Guardiola assistant coach in a game dubbed ‘A great game for a bigger cause’.

Each team should have a strong starting line-up, with the two clubs hoping to put on a show in support of a mutual friend and colleague.

Although the game is set in the middle of the league season, it’s still early enough in the season that it shouldn’t cause too much trouble for either of them with the Champions League games still a few weeks away.

Both clubs are expected to be battling for their respective domestic league titles this season, with Man City already at the top of the Premier League table while Barcelona are also unbeaten in their first two La Liga games.

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Why are Barcelona and Manchester City playing a benefit game?

The match was set up to support ALS research on behalf of former Pep Guardiola assistant coach Juan Carlos Unzue, who was diagnosed with the disease in early 2020.

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Unzue, a former goalkeeper who briefly played for Barcelona (1988-1990), was assistant coach at Barcelona from 2003-2010 and again from 2014-2017. He overlapped with Guardiola at the club from 2007 to 2010 before being hired as Numancia’s manager.

Unzue then took charge of Racing Santander before joining Celta Vigo as an assistant and then returning to Barcelona. The 55-year-old would also take charge of Celta Vigo and Girona before ill health forced him to retire.

All ticket sales and proceeds from games at the stadium go towards ALS research, with the game benefiting the Luzon Foundation.

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Where to watch the Barcelona vs. Man City benefit match?

date time TV channel stream
Australia Thu, 08/25 05:30 CET BarcaTV+, City+, Man City Recast
Canada Wed, 08/24 15:30 ET BarcaTV+, City+, Man City Recast
Hong Kong Thu, 08/25 03:30 CET BarcaTV+, City+, Man City Recast
India Thu, 08/24 01:00 IST BarcaTV+, City+, Man City Recast
Malaysia Thu, 08/25 03:30 CET BarcaTV+, City+, Man City Recast
New Zealand Thu, 08/25 07:30 NZST BarcaTV+, City+, Man City Recast
Singapore Thu, 08/25 03:30 SST BarcaTV+, City+, Man City Recast
United Kingdom Wed, 08/24 20:30 CET BarcaTV+, City+, Man City Recast
United States of America Wed, 08/24 15:30 ET CBS sports network fuboTV
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UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Champions League broadcaster CBS Sports Network will broadcast the game in the US, with this channel available to stream on fuboTV.

International: The friendly will be streamed across the globe via both clubs’ premium streaming services.

Barcelona will make the game available via BarcaTV+, while Man City will make the game available on both of the club’s streaming services, City+ and Man City Recast.

City+ is a seasonal subscription service for access to all Man City content, similar to BarcaTV+, while Recast is a cheaper pay-per-view subscription service offered by the Premier League.

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Clash between Barcelona and Man City

These two clubs have met six times before, all in the Champions League in the last decade.

While the two most recent encounters were in the group stage in 2016, the other four encounters were in the round of 16 in back-to-back tournaments (2013/14 and 2015/16), with Barcelona winning each of the four games.

In total, Barcelona have won five of their encounters, but Man City won the last game 3-1 in November 2016. Kevin de Bruyne scored a goal while Ilkay Gundogan scored a pair. Lionel Messi, who is now at PSG, had Barcelona’s only goal.

date contest result
November 1, 2016 UEFA Champions League Manchester City 3-1 Barcelona
October 19, 2016 UEFA Champions League Barcelona 4-0 Manchester City
March 18, 2015 UEFA Champions League Barcelona 1-0 Manchester City
February 24, 2015 UEFA Champions League Manchester City 1-2 Barcelona
March 12, 2014 UEFA Champions League Barcelona 2-1 Manchester City
February 18, 2014 UEFA Champions League Manchester City 0-2 Barcelona
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Pep Guardiola vs. Xavi head to head matches

Pep Guardiola and Xavi have never faced each other as opposing coaches but that doesn’t mean the two don’t have a history.

In fact, in a way, this is a case of teacher versus student. Xavi had a long playing career for Barcelona that spanned Guardiola’s entire time at the Camp Nou. The two won three La Liga titles, two Champions League titles and two Copa del Rey crowns as part of their trophy case during their collaboration.

“He knows the club and will bring positive energy with his love of football and commitment,” Guardiola said of Xavi when he signed at Barcelona last year. “He always sees the bright side of things.”

Guardiola knew the Spanish side were struggling at this point but believed Xavi would be the one to turn things around. “I’m sure that with his class, his commitment and his commitment, he will improve the situation of the club.”

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