The first team gathered on Friday morning, beginning at 11am, for their final training session of the calendar year. Eighteen first team players plus three reserves (Vázquez, Bartra and Thiago) worked in the rain at the Ciutat Esportiva.
The group led by Josep Guardiola continued their preparation for Sunday’s match at Camp Nou against Levante (18:00), which is matchday 17 in la Liga. In what was the last training session of 2010, Guardiola had 18 first team players to work with, including Jeffren and Milito who received their medical clearance to play on Thursday, and three members of the reserves.
The only change from the two sessions on Thursday was the presence of B team player Víctor Vázquez, who replaced Ruben Miño as one of the three youth players training with the first team. Vázquez joined his B team teammates Thiago and Bartra.
Both Puyol and Messi reamined absent for the session, with Puyol out injured and Messi with an extended holiday break.
Winter signing Ibrahim Afellay seems to be adapting quickly to the dynamics of the group and their style of play. In the usual training drills at the beginning of the sessions, he has been very rarely seen in the middle, which is the position of the player who loses the ball.
On the first day of the New Year, the squad will be back at noon for another session before their Sunday match with Levante. Afterwards, Guardiola will hold his customary press conference.