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17.03.2008 12:51

Thoughts turn to the Cup

Berta Brau / Vanessa Forns

Barça are forgetting about the League for the moment to concentrate on the King’s Cup. This Monday the players have had a warm-down session as thoughts turn to Thursday’s decisive encounter at Mestalla this coming Thursday.

Frank Rijkaard’s side were back training this Monday morning after Sunday’s draw away at Almería (2-2). The seventeen first teamers at La Masia were joined by seven Barça B players, Oier, Víctor Sánchez, Pedrito, Víctor Vázquez, Toribio, Eneko and Fali. All of them did a warm-down session and began getting ready for the King’s Cup semi-final return leg against Valencia.

Ronaldinho still undergoing treatment

entreno170308_x7x.jpgOne of the players currently sidelined, Ronaldinho, did come out to do some work at La Masia. The Brazilian international missed the Almería game with a groin strain and is still following his recovery programme. He appeared on the training ground to do some running and then headed back to the dressing room to continue receiving treatment.

Ezquerro rejoins the squad

entreno170308.jpgA new face at this Monday’s session was Santi Ezquerro, who trained normally with his team mates. Ezquerro has returned after two months out with a groin strain that required specific treatment and kept him apart from the rest of the squad.

Light session for starting XI

Training began with the usual warm-up and stretching exercises. Afterwards six of the players from Sunday’s starting line-up – Valdés, Eto'o, Bojan, Abidal, Milito and Puyol – did some tempo runs and then returned to the dressing room. Thuram worked on his own as he usually does on the day after a game.

Guddy trains normally

Next up the players did some ball skills exercises with Eidur Gudjohnsen, who was taken off in stoppage time against Almería in some pain, taking part quite normally. Then the first team members split up into groups of three or four to work on passing. Virtually all of the players in Sunday’s starting XI then returned to the dressing rooms.

Practice match to finish

entreno170308_x4x.jpgTo finish up the players left on the training ground played a seven-a-side practice game on half the pitch. Oier, Henry, Oleguer, Zambrotta, Víctor Vázquez, Eneko and Toribio wore orange bibs, while Pinto, Ezquerro, Sylvinho, Edmílson, Víctor Sánchez, Pedrito and Fali played without one.
Thoughts turn to the Cup
Next training session at La Masia on Friday
The first team players won’t be back training at La Masia until Friday as they will have sessions behind closed doors at the Miniestadi on Tuesday (6 pm) and in the Camp Nou on Wednesday (11 am), just before they travel to Valencia.

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