MIAMI, Florida — FC Barcelona trained at Barry University Thursday afternoon, just over 48 hours ahead of Saturday's much anticipated El Clásico. It was the team's first workout since arriving on Thursday at midday in Miami, which is the third and final stop on the club's summer tour in the United States.
But before the players hit the practice field, the midfielder Ivan Rakitic appeared at a press conference, held off to the side. About a hundred reporters and photographers gathered around the 29-year-old Croatian to hear his thoughts about a host of issues surrounding the team.
Hundreds of fans lined up outside the chain-link fence on the ground's exterior and enthusiastically cheered the arrival of each player from afar.
Sergi Roberto did not train Thursday, as he sat out with a right adductor strain.
Barça's game against Real Madrid is set for Saturday night at 7.30pm ET at Hard Rock Stadium. It will be just the second Clásico ever held outside of Spain and the first in the United States, which goes a long way towards explaining the uptick in media interest since the team arrived in Miami.