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By ESPN Staff

Barca to join Hamburg celebrations

Hamburg have announced a lucrative friendly match against Barcelona as the highlight of their pre-season preparations.

The game will take place at the HSV-Arena on July 24, a month before the start of the 2012-13 Bundesliga season, as part of the club's 125th anniversary.

"It is a great honour for Hamburg to be able to attract Barcelona to a friendly match here in the HSV-Arena," Hamburg's marketing and communication director Joachim Hilke told the club's website.

"The game against this extraordinary team will crown our 125th anniversary celebrations and is a unique opportunity for our fans."

Hamburg are the only club going into the 50th anniversary season of the Bundesliga never to have been relegated from the top flight of German football.

Last season was their worst ever, though, with just five points and one position separating them from relegation to the second division at the end of a year which had commenced with ambitions of qualifying for Europe and perhaps meeting Barcelona in a competitive match next season.

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