Luis Enrique was more than happy with St George’s Park / PHOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ - FCB

[[DES_1]]FC Barcelona were thoroughly impressed with the facilities at St George’s Park, where Luis Enrique has been training this week with the bulk of the 2014/15 squad. “I had heard reviews of the place but I had never been to St George’s Park before” he said. “They’re top class facilities, everything is so easy, so accessible, so perfectly structured and classified … The facilities are fantastic and I’d go back there”.

Andoni Zubizarreta was just as impressed. “Our thinking was that we’d have a new manager, new staff and several new players. Coming here gave them all the chance to get to know each other, as well as working on different aspects of the game”.We have trained on fantastic facilities in excellent condition

The director of sport agreed with Luis Enrique about St George’s Park. “We have trained on fantastic facilities in excellent condition” he said. “We have worked on fitness, skills and tactics. It’s been a beneficial week”. It has been useful not just for the players, but for Luis Enrique and his staff too. “We’ve started doing a lot of analytical work with an eye on the first games on the fixture list” he said.I think this season poses a very important challenge. We all know that

Zubi also spoke positively about the intensity and focus among the squad, and highlighted the efforts of the Barça B players (Patric, Edgar Ié, Grimaldo, Samper, Halilovic, Munir, Sandro and Adama) that also travelled to England. “They have been excellent and have shown that they’re all capable of playing for the first team whenever we need their help. The new players have adapted very quickly and the ones who were here last season have come back with an extraordinary mentality. I think this season poses a very important challenge. We all know that, and since day one they have been shown incredible dedication”.

Zubizarreta also commented on Xavi, explaining that “we have told him all summer that his decision will be our decision because there’s clearly still a lot of football inside him. Since the first day he’s been charging his batteries like everyone else and I must say he’s looked very good in training this week. I think he’s enjoying his football, he seems to have found himself again and that’s great news for us all, but especially for him. For him to be enjoying his football, because that’s the key to getting everything else to work”.

Sergio and number five

Andoni Zubizarreta also spoke about how Sergio Busquets has inherited the number 5 shirt that was formerly owned by Carles Puyol. “It was Carles Puyol’s own wish for Sergio to have the honour. I like that gesture and also how Sergio has accepted the number, with all that it symbolises. He’s still young but has extraordinary prospects. I think the number will be well protected”.