KOBE, Japan — Just a few hours after arriving here from Tokyo via high-speed train, FC Barcelona were out on the training pitch at Kobe Universiade Memorial Stadium to take part in their first workout since Tuesday night’s friendly versus Chelsea.
Wednesday’s training session began at 6.30pm local time (11.30am in Barcelona), with the weather noticeably hotter and muggier than the previous 72 hours spent in Tokyo, which lies some 500km (300 miles) northeast of Kobe.
All players summoned for the 2019 Rakuten Cup took part in the session. Hiroki Abe worked out individually.
Before the team took to the field for Wednesday’s workout in Kobe, the team’s new goalkeeper, Neto, appeared before a small gaggle of Catalan, Spanish and Japanese media present on this year’s summer tour.
‘I feel good,’ Neto said, when asked about his overall sensations just a few weeks after joining the club. “I’m very happy to be a part of the team and I feel like I am adapting well.”
Neto was also asked about number one goalkeeper Marc-André ter Stegen, and how much he expected to play this season. “I have a good relationship with Marc, “ Neto said. “He’s helping me with some things. He’s a great player and a great person.”
Conscious of Ter Stegen’s status as the team’s top starter, Neto appeared relaxed. “I’m just going to do my thing,” he said. “I have no expectations.”