(Written by Tactful Sheik)
Dundee United might kick off their SPL campaign against Aberdeen on the 4th of August, but for most supporters the season begins with a home European tie.
When Barcelona arrive in Scotland for their golfing trip, they will probably be expecting to breeze through their 'friendly` matches against Dundee United and Hearts - but this is a chance for players of both these SPL sides to impress on a more international stage.
Dundee United also have an impressive record against the Catalan giants, which the supporters will not want to give up so easily, and they definitely wont want their side to be shown up infront of the Setanta cameras.
The Barca players who step out onto the Tannadice pitch on the evening of Thursday the 26th of July, have the chance to wreck United`s 100% record of played 4, won 4............but even if they do, its only a friendly…..isn`t it?
Barcelona manager Frank Rijkaard doesn`t seem to be taking it too seriously, because to him the result wont matter.
"It's a game, that is all," Rijkaard told the Scotsman.
"It's about getting back into the rhythm again, and for that you need games. To be honest, I am not really thinking about winning or losing."
"Not every player will be available because they have tournaments with their countries, but a big part of the group will be available."
"The main purpose of the trip to St Andrews is to prepare ourselves for next season, and to do it in a good atmosphere."
"I always have respect for our opponents. Dundee United and Hearts are two proud Scottish teams."
"We will give all that we have, and leave a good impression. We will play with the honour of defending the colours of this club."
"When I think about Scottish football I think about the wonderful Scottish national team, and the wonderful Scottish public and I go back to when I was a little kid, and players like Jimmy Johnstone."