Heymar's goal at San Mamés had a familar ring to it / MIGUEL RUIZ - FCB

There are many reasons why players warm up for matches. Of course, the most important one is to get the body in the right conditions to endure 90 minutes of intense football. But it’s also a chance to hone the kind of the skills that they’ll be drawing upon once the referee has blown for kick-off. And there was never a finer example of that than Neymar Jr at San Mamés on Sunday night.

Our cameras captured, moments before the game started in Bilbao, how the Brazilian ran in from the left to collect a pass from Xavi and with one touch of the ball deftly slotted it in the bottom corner at the far post, leaving goalkeeper Ter Stegen standing. It was a nice goal, but there is nothing overly remarkable about it until we compare it with 66th minute goal that the same player scored in the actual match. It’s almost identical!

Perfect replica

It was scored from exactly the same part of the field. Xavi was in the same position as he was in the warm-up, but this time preferred not to touch Messi’s pass, having spotted Neymar arriving unmarked on the left. And with exactly the same shot that he delivered in practice, the Brazilian coolly made it 4-1 to Barça.

Check out our match highlights of Athletic Bilbao 2-5 FC Barcelona and you’ll see what we mean. A goal in the warm-up replicated to perfection in the game itself!

[[BOTOGRIS::HIGHLIGHTS: Athletic Club v FCB++::http://www.fcbarcelona.com/football/first-team/detail/article/highlights-the-rout-at-san-mames-fcbarcelona-athletic-club::HOR::NF::NO-TRACKING::::::]]

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