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04.04.2007 14:20

Five thousand fans watch training

This Wednesday, FC Barcelona held a training session open to the public at the Miniestadi. Thousands of fans were on hand to watch the players go through their paces.

Some 5,000 Barça fans - many of whom preserved the memory of the day with their cameras - greeted the players with a standing ovation at the beginning of the session. Large numbers of press reporters were also present.

Barça fans of all ages

Queues were already starting to form outside the Miniestadi about an hour before training was due to start. Among the fans were people of all ages and backgrounds, including whole families with young children, teenagers, senior citizens and foreigners of many nationalities.

Many people were wearing Barça shirts and scarves and some even carried placards with words of support for the players. Once inside the stadium, the occasional Mexican wave was to be seen, the children sang the Barça anthem and the rounds of applause for the players – in particular Messi, Eto'o and local boy Oleguer – were a constant feature.

Focus on fitness

The first part of the session concentrated on fitness exercises. After the usual warm-up and keep ball exercises, the players did some jogging, sprinting, jumping and changes of pace combined with passing and running with the ball. Then the players divided up into pairs to practice long passing.

Training matches

The fans were particularly entertained by the training matches and celebrated each move and goal with tremendous enthusiasm.

The matches were played between teams of six on a reduced pitch. The team that scored first eliminated the loser and then took on the third group. The winning team in this triangular series consisted of Thuram, Iniesta, Puyol, Marquez, Messi, Motta and Eto'o, winning 15 of the 25 contests.

The session ended with the Barça anthem echoing from the public address system while the players and fans joined in applause for the great atmosphere generated.
Five thousand fans watch training

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Overtime for Iniesta
Spanish midfielder, Andrés Iniesta, remained on the pitch with fitness coach Albert Roca at the end of the session, when the terraces were all but empty. He practised passing, changes of pace, dribbling and shooting.

The only player absent from training today was Ronaldinho, who is still recovering from the bout of flu that prevented him from training on Tuesday.

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