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Barca turf fires up Bob’s boys

sports Updated: Jul 10, 2009 00:09 IST
Abhishek Hore
Abhishek Hore
Hindustan Times
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For a change, it was not Pep Guardiola's star-studded line-up, but the Indian football team that trained at the Barcelona training facility on Thursday.

A feel of the facility, situated near the hallowed Nou Camp, and usually frequented by stars like Lionel Messi, Thierry Henry and Samuel Eto'o, was enough to help Bob Houghton's boys overcome the jet lag after the long journey from Dubai to Spain.

"Wednesday was a rest day but our players were very excited about training. It's something special," manager Pradeep Choudhury told HT from Barcelona.

"They worked out for a while and did some jogging in the morning and then trained in the evening," Choudhury said after the first day of the month-long tour to the Catalan state.

According to the tentative schedule, the team plays the first friendly on July 25 followed by another four days later. The opponents and dates for the last two matches are yet to be finalised.

Uncertainty remained on striker Sunil Chhetri's participation in the friendlies. Choudhury said: "He is recovering gradually from the ankle injury, but can't go full throttle. We are hopeful but it is difficult to say how much time it will take for the injury to heal."

Besides Chhetri, defender Surkumar Singh is also down with a similar ailment. "Surkumar suffered the injury during practice but it is not very serious. The other members are in perfect shape," Choudhury said.

The team arrived at Barcelona's El Prat Airport on Tuesday evening.

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