Exhibition game a real money-spinner
The visit of the Catalan giants and of course their star man Lionel Messi, could have a huge effect on Malaysian finances.
The Bukit Jalil stadium will on Saturday 10th August play host to a match between Malaysia XI and Barcalona, up to 80,000 fans are expected to pack out the National Stadium including 8,000 from Spain.
The organisers, Malaysian Major Events say the match will pull in over RM 115 million (£23m ).
Malaysia have recently hosted both Arsenal and Chelsea in similar pre-season games. The draw of Barcelona seems significantly more than that of the 2012 Champions League winners, when free tickets where given away and the game was pulled from the TV schedules in a bid to get more people to attend.
As the match coincides with Hari Raya Aidilfitri, the feast that marks the end of Ramadan, it is also hoped the occasion will serve the dual purpose of thrusting Malaysian culture into the limelight.
Speaking to Goal.com ,The CEO of Malaysia Convention and Exhibition Bureau (MyCEB), an agency controlled by the Ministry of Tourism, Zulkefli Sharif said: “Malaysians and football are inseparable.We are happy to see the greatness of the spirit of the football hit the country and we will continue to bring the mega sporting event here.”