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07.08.2009 20:02

Warm welcome in the Kezar Stadium

David Saura (enviat especial)

A large group of fans has welcomed Barça at their first training session in San Francisco and sang the names of their favourite players as they walked onto the pitch, with Lionel Messi receiving the loudest cheer.

Around 1,500 supporters turned up at the Kezar Stadium to watch the session with almost all being followers of local Major League Soccer team San Jose Earthquakes. Many had Barcelona flags and shirts.

Long and intense session

2009-08-07_ALVES_01.jpgTraining was long and intense, as is the custom for the morning session, and even more so on Friday because the players were given Thursday afternoon off. Rafa Márquez was absent as he stayed in the hotel to work on recovering from the muscle tear in his calf, while Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Andrés Iniesta worked on their own.

A classical setting

2009-08-07_AFICION_03.jpgThe warm-up games, the combination play that concluded in shooting and the physical drills were all part of the routine that lasted for over 90 minutes. The team were also able to take in the surroundings as they trained in the Kezar Stadium, which is the former home of the NFL outfit San Francisco 49ers. Surrounded by a track, the arena still has some areas that are made of wood and have a old fashioned feel to them and must have been the same in the days when a Santos side featuring Pelé played a friendly there.
Warm welcome in the Kezar Stadium
Laporta attends training
Joan Laporta attended the training session on Friday along with vice president Rafael Yuste and technical secretary Txiki Begiristain. Despite the heat they walked out on to the pitch, close to where the San Francisco police's motor bikes were stationed and the media were watching.

At the end of the session all the players had photos taken with the police officers.

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