The Barça first team, including Messi, Valdés and Iniesta, trained on Thursday morning in front of 13,000 people in the Miniestadi.
The atmosphere was fantastic in what has become a traditional feature of the festive season. Just under 13,000 people turned up to watch the players go through their paces. The session focused on warming down from the efforts against Osasuna in the first leg of the last 32 of the Kings Cup but with an eye on entertaining the fans.
24 players took part in Thursday's session, 19 from the first team and 5 from Barça B (Oier, Muniesa, Montoya, Sergi Roberto and Cuenca). The only absentees were long-term injury victims Ibrahim Afellay and David Villa. Messi, Valdés and Iniesta re-joined the group after resting on Wednesday.
The session followed the usual post-match routine of circuit training supplemented by ball control exercises. The delighted fans were then treated to a seven-a-side training match.
The players who took part in last night's match then did a lap of honour of the pitch, posed for photographs with some disabled fans who were watching from the touchline, signed autographs and then returned to the changing rooms. The rest of the players joined in the festive spirit and gave away a number of footballs to some of the lucky children who made up the bulk of the crowd.
Cesc: "it's amazing"
At the end of the session, some of the players spoke to Barça TV. Cesc, for whom this was the first Christmas training session since he moved back to the Club, told them. "This training session is amazing. We're very happy and we had a great time". It was also the first time for fellow summer signing Alexis: "I'd never seen this and it's really nice. I'm pleased that people are here and having a good time".
Meanwhile, Barça B's Sergi Roberto revealed: "It's been shown that the fans are right behind the team. That's wonderful for us. It's great to have training sessions like that".
To sum up, both fans and players had an unforgettable time today. More than a training session, this was a festival where the fans, above all the children, could enjoy the skills of their heroes. (via FCBarcelona.cat)