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13.08.2007 19:48

They’re here!

Miriam Nadal

Monday saw the first Barça training session of the season to feature the full squad, apart from the injured Edmílson and Puyol, and Bojan who is at the Under 17 World Championship.

Training at La Masia commenced at 7.00 pm, and was the first since the players returned from their trip to Asia in the early hours of Sunday morning. Messi, Márquez and Milito, the three players that had a longer holiday to compensate for their participation in the Copa America, Deco (who was excused from the tour as his wife was having a baby) and Gudjohnsen, back from injury, all trained with the rest of the squad for the first time.

QM3D0304.jpgThat made twenty five players, for Frank Rijkaard is also using central midfielder Marc Crosas and defender Jesús Olmo in his pre-season plans.

Eidur Gudjohnsen and Sylvinho trained as a slower rate than the others as they are both still recovering from their respective injuries.

Warm up drills

QM3D0172.jpgThe session began with the usual warm-up drills. Forming circles for the piggy-in-the-middle exercise that forms part of every session, the cameras were clicking as Leo Messi, Henry, Ronaldinho and Eto’o were all together for the first time.

The players then tackled an obstacle course which involved no use of the ball, and then formed groups of three to combine fitness work with shots on goals defended by keepers Víctor Valdés and Albert Jorquera.

Curiously, Samuel Eto’o also went in goal at one point, and didn’t do a bad job at all of keeping out efforts from Henry, Valdés and Xavi.


QM3D0368.jpgThe session was then able to end with a full eleven-a-side match. A blue team made up of Valdés, Zambrotta, Oleguer, Thuram, Abidal, Iniesta, Xavi, Touré, Ronaldinho, Eto’o and Henry played a yellow team including Jorquera, Milito, Motta, Deco, Belletti, Márquez, Ezquerro, Messi, Giovanni, Maxi and Crosas.

They’re here!

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Huge interest
The Monday session attracted an abnormally large amount of media and public interest. You could hardly move in the area around La Masia as the crowds did all within their power to get a glimpse of just about the entire first team squad training together for the first time this season.

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