Barca and Boca will meet in Saudi Arabia in April with Argentina’s all-time greatest star Diego Maradona and Barca icon Andres Iniesta attending the game, club officials announced on Wednesday.
A December meeting between the two sides is already confirmed, but Barca and Boca said the match in Al-Ahli Stadium in Jeddah would mark a significant milestone for Argentinian soccer, both in the country and globally. The match is set to be televised around the world and, in addition to the two-man team from each side, former Barca coach Pep Guardiola will be on hand to officiate.
Maradona’s name alone will be a global draw. The 48-year-old appeared in three World Cups and won two, after playing in less than half of the matches he played for clubs across the globe. Iniesta, meanwhile, is widely considered one of the most prominent midfielders of his generation. He currently plays for FC Barcelona, a club where Maradona won the first of his two league titles, and has captured a Champions League, La Liga and Copa del Rey in the past two seasons.
“We feel privileged to be able to have this match,” said Boca president Daniel Angelici. “It’s in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and of course the loyalties of the Barca-Boca supporters are all there.”
There are now six foreign-based internationals on the United Arab Emirates-based Al-Ahli team, giving the game a legitimacy far removed from an exhibition match. It will be a marriage made in heaven — or heaven itself.