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06.08.2007 17:55

First contact with Nissan Stadium

Sergi Nogueras

Shortly after arriving in Yokohama, Barça have trained for the first time on Japanese soil. It was a gentle session in the same ground that will be used for Tuesday’s game.

A highly respectful crowd assembled at the Nissan Stadium in Yokohama, politely applauding each of the players as they emerged from the dressing room for Monday’s warm-up session for tomorrow’s game against Yokohama Marinos. There was a respectful silence from the fans as the players went through their motions in a stadium that will bring back painful memories of defeat in the Clubs World Cup Final here in December.

Exercise and discussions

WEB_TARDE_09.jpgAfter the usual warm-up drills, Frank Rijkaard got his players together for a 10 minute team talk in which he gesticulated wildly as he pointed out aspects of the game against Beijing Gouan that he had not been impressed by. WEB_TARDE_08.jpgThe session ended with work with the ball, and the players that got the fewest minutes in the game in China ended the day with a short match while the others did a series of stretching exercises.

Thuram and Belletti on their own

WEB_TARDE_14.jpgThe only players that did not train with the bulk of the squad were Belletti and Thuram. The Brazilian still has a problem with his right leg while the Frenchman was given specific orders as he has played far more minutes than any other players until now, and is therefore the most likely player to be suffering from tiredness.
First contact with Nissan Stadium
After training, the players went to meet a group of Japanese children affected by the various earthquakes that have troubled the country this year. All were kitted out in Barça shirts and were left gobsmacked when the Barça players shook each of their hands individually. Ronaldinho then handed out gifts to everybody including a ball that symbolises the 400 that Nike and FC Barcelona will be presenting to the most seriously affected children.

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