Friday was Barça’s last day at St George’s Park. After five wonderful days enjoying the extraordinary FA facilities, the team is now off to Nice for the second friendly of the preseason.
The first session was scheduled for this morning, just after the news was announced that Sergio Busquets will be wearing the number 5 shirt that was formerly owned by Carles Puyol. Watching on were the youngsters from the Monroe Soccer Club, New Jersey, who are staying at the same hotel as FCB.
Manager Luis Enrique allowed the media in to watch the first 45 minutes, which mainly consisted of a possession exercise under heavy rain. But the session ended up being moved to the neighbouring pitch, the only one on the site with a roof, and which is exactly the same size as the one at Wembley.
It turned out to be the last session on the field in England, for the evening workout was moved indoors. There was also a photo session involving the seven new signings this season, and shortly after club president Josep Maria Bartomeu arrived in Birmingham and offered a positive appraisal of progress made this week.
Bartomeu will now be travelling with the team on Saturday morning for the friendly with OGC Nice. On arrival, Jérémy Mathieu and Marc-André Ter Stegen will be giving a press conference. The game kicks off at 8.45 PM CET, and when it’s over, the players will be heading back to Barcelona after a six-day absence.