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By ESPN Staff

Sydney FC to play five matches in Italy

Sydney FC will break new ground next month as the first A-League club to mount a pre-season tour of Europe.

The club announced on Friday night a three-week trip to Italy that includes a match against Alessandro Del Piero's first professional football club Padova.

The Sky Blues depart on August 2 and will be based in the Adriatic Sea town of Jesolo, one hour outside Venice.

Every member of the first team will take part in the tour, which will include five matches.

"This is a very exciting tour for Sydney FC and an excellent opportunity to further enhance our brand recognition in Europe," said chairman Scott Barlow in a statement released by the club.

"The eyes of Italy will be on Sydney FC, the A-League and Australian football with Alessandro returning home."

Coach Frank Farina will be looking to get his men in shape for their A-League season opener against Newcastle in Sydney on October 11.

"This tour is fantastic for what we are trying to achieve during pre season," Farina said.

"Three weeks in Italy gives us a tremendous opportunity to get away with the entire squad and focus on implementing our football style and also allows us some quality matches in a different environment that will test the players."

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