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26.10.2007 13:30

Finishing touches before Sunday

Berta Brau / Anna Segura

Frank Rijkaard was busy man on Friday as he constantly stopped the practice match to put his ideas across to the players in the final training session before the Blaugrana take on Almería on Sunday.

After the easy session on Thursday, the intensity returned as the first team took to the pitch in front of La Masia as they continued their preparations for the visit of Almería on Sunday (19:00 CET, Barça TV and PPV). Rijkaard was keen to work on tactics and was heavily involved as he ensured that the players understood how he wanted them to play during a practice encounter. Lionel Messi was not present as he continued on a personal recovery programme.

Positional sense

sessio_06.jpgAfter the warm-up exercises, the Blaugrana players divided into groups that depended on their positions and were put through a circuit with the ball. Eidur Gudjohnsen joined the midfielders' group, while Touré Yaya and Rafa Márquez switched between the midfield and defence.

Tactical match|party

sessio_08.jpgRijkaard was also keen to try certain players in different positions as he looks for ways to cover for the injured stars, although Touré, Márquez and Gianluca Zambrotta are close to being declared fully fit again.

The squad then played a ten-a-side match with Valdés, Puyol, Thuram, Milito, Abidal, Touré, Xavi, Iniesta, Henry and Giovani on one team and Jorquera, Sylvinho, Márquez, Oleguer, Zambrotta, Crosas, Gudjohnsen, Ronaldinho, Ezquerro and Bojan on the other.

Changing sides

sessio_03.jpgThroughout the game, Rijkaard switched players from one team to the other to try out new ideas, like when Ronaldinho and Giovani Dos Santos changed sides. Touré and Márquez were also asked to change as the coach continued to explain why he was doing this and what he wanted to achieve.

Henry stretches out

sessio_05.jpgThierry Henry did not take part in the usual warm-up games as the French international continued to stretch and exercise with one of the physical coaches.
Finishing touches before Sunday

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Messi on his own
Lionel Messi trained alone for the second consecutive day as he warmed up in the gymnasium before going out to the pitch in front of La Masia where he continued his recuperation programme. Having played a large number of games in recent week, the plan has been implemented to prevent fatigue or injury.

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