FC Barcelona crossed the Atlantic on Thursday, but the players most certainly haven’t been taken to the United States just to get a gentle summer break.
There is work to be done, and after getting a good night’s rest at the Sheraton Parsippany Hotel, Ernesto Valverde and his men were up bright and early for a 9.30am local time (3.30pm CET) training session at the Red Bull Training Facility in Whippany.
The weather was just as hot and sunny as what they left behind in Barcelona, with temperatures over 30º.
This was the first of two workouts at the venue this Thursday, with the team getting back out onto the training pitch for its second session of the day in the team’s first full day on US soil. The morning session was followed by a media conference featuring Sergi Roberto and Jasper Cillessen.
The afternoon session brought with it a guest visitor — former FC Barcelona goalkeeper José Manual Pinto, who high-fived Gerard Piqué as the evening workout got underway.
Valverde has 26 players with him as he prepares for the first game of the preseason, and his first as Barça manager. That’s coming up on Saturday against Juventus at the MetLife Stadium, New Jersey (6.05pm local time, 12.05am CET).
As well as the multiple Italian champions, Barça also have stateside fixtures against Manchester United on Wednesday at the FedEx Field, Washington DC and Real Madrid on Saturday 29 in Miami.