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03.08.2008 04:21

Ball takes central role at Soldier Field

David Saura (special correspondent)

At Soldier Field Stadium, where Barça will play Chivas, the final training session was held before the first game of the two-match tour. Exercises with the ball were the main focus of the action.

It was the kind of session footballers enjoy. The morning session may have been about fitness, but the second was much more enjoyable for the players, with Pep Guardiola getting very involved as the work developed into a mini-match.

Touré leaves early

Víctor Sánchez and Víctor Vázquez still have minor injuries and were absent, while Touré only took part in the first stage of the session, having taken a knock to his foot on Friday.

Getting the ball out from the back

guardiola_pide_explicaciones.jpgThe other players worked on bringing the ball out of defence, combining with the midfield, and on the getting the full backs to supply crosses as they formed a link with the attack. Later, they worked on combination plays in midfield, and concentrated on getting them and the strikers to create plays that avoided being caught offside.

Game practice

As happened in Friday’s session at Toyota Park, things ended with a game. As Guardiola did not have enough players to make up two teams, Sergi Busquets played for both sides, but only as a forward. One team included Jorquera, Abidal, Piqué, Crosas, Keita, Xavi, Jeffren, Eto'o and Bojan, and they were pitted against Pinto, Sylvinho, Cáceres, Márquez, Alves, Gudjohnsen, Hleb, Iniesta, Pedro and Henry. The goals were scored by Eto'o, Márquez and Jeffren.

Emblematic venue

soldier.jpgThe training session was held in Soldier Field Stadium, which holds 61,500 people and is the usual home ground for American football side the Chicago Bears. It combines tradition in the form of outer columns, which have survived from the original 1924 structure, with a highly characteristic interior (one side full of glass-covered boxes), which was fully remodelled in 2003. It is located in Lake Shore Drive, a huge public park next to Lake Michigan.
Ball takes central role at Soldier Field
Txiki and Perrin join expedition
Director of football, Txiki Begiristain, and director Albert Perrín are back with the team after travelling to Nyon (Switzerland) for the Champions League draw. Both watched the training session, along with Xavier Sala i Martín, president of the Statutory Economic Commission.

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