KOBE, Japan — FC Barcelona completed the first of two planned workouts on Thursday with a morning session held at the Kobe Universidade Memorial Stadium. It was the team's hottest training session yet since arriving in Japan last Sunday, with temperatures here in Kobe hovering around 30º C (85º F) and with the relative humidity at around 75%.
The only players who did not train with the group on Thursday morning were Rafinha and Hiroki Abe, both of whom did individual work on the side.
Once the workout was over, the players Sergi Roberto, Nélson Semedo, Marc-André ter Stegen, Clément Lenglet, and Abe took part in a clinic held for local children. The clinic was organized by Rakuten and also included the participation of Barça Academy coaches.
Following the morning session, Gerard Piqué, Antoine Griezmann, Malcom, Carles Aleñá and Samuel Umtiti took part in a meet and greet organized by Rakuten at the team's hotel.
In the late afternoon, Barça were back out on the training pitch to continue preparing for their second test of the preseason, which is set for Saturday against local side Vissel Kobe and the former Barça players Andrés Iniesta, David Villa, and Sergi Samper.
Rafinha joined the group for the evening workout, while Abe continued to train alone on the side.
Before the evening training session, however, the midfielder Carles Aleñá spoke to the media. He said he was looking "to take a step forward this season" and to play a bigger role despite the fierce competition for playing time in the midfield.
After the match against Vissel Kobe, Barça will fly back to Barcelona, where they are expected to arrive early on Sunday morning.