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03.08.2007 10:23

Rijkaard: "The tour is a model that has worked well"

David Saura

Frank Rijkaard believes that FC Barcelona's tour of Asia is just another step "to being completely ready" for the start of the league season and believes that the plan "has been worked out well."

The Barça coach understands that tours such as this are necessary "for all the big clubs" and that the Blaugrana are no exception. A few hours after arriving in Beijing the Dutchman believes that the club has "an added goal which is to transmit the club's culture" By doing this, Barça is able to spread the values that it holds dear around the world.

Adaptation period

After more than 11 hours on the plane from Catalunya, Rijkaard said that the first job of the squad is to "adapt ourselves" although he recognised that "it is normal that on the first day you are not going to be at your best. After the first training session everything will improve" he predicted, as the players look to stave off the effects of jet lag.

Importance of training

"The combination of preparing physically and publicising the club" are the main aims for Rijkaard on a tour of this nature. After highlighting the importance of planning the trip, he remembered that the manner in which these trips have been done, since his first in 2003, "has, in general, worked well". The coach also insisted that "the need to train hard and not only to play and fly" was vital. In that sense, he stated that he was convinced that the team would be able to reach a very high level in its preparations during the stay in the Far East.

Everyone is equal

WEB_RUEDA_DE_PRENSA_03-08-07.jpgWith regard to the possible combination of players that he will use during the three matches on the trip, Rijkaard said that it was too soon to draw conclusions. When asked if Touré Yaya, Xavi and Andrés Iniesta are his first choice midfield, he said: "No, not at all. It can change every week. The players that start in the opening half are just as important as those that begin the second half. No conclusions should be made yet."

Henry, Ronaldinho and Eto’o

During his first press conference in China, Rijkaard also looked ahead to the possibility of Ronaldinho and Samuel Eto'o playing up front with Thierry Henry, something that did not happen during the trip to Scotland. "I do not know when they will play together, we shall have to wait and see. What I have said is that I do not think that they will play together here," he said, referring to Barça's opening game of the trip against Beijing Guoan on Sunday. Rijkaard is believed to preparing to name the same side that started both games in Scotland.
Rijkaard: “The tour is a model that has worked well“

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Good luck to Krkic
Frank Rijkaard will be unable to count on the services of Bojan Krkic for the tour as the youngster has been called up to Spain Under-17 squad. The Dutch coach is convinced that the 16-year-old will "impress people" during the forthcoming World Championships in Korea and wished him "every success", before adding that "he will be a very important player for Barça in the future".

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