Barça’s new first team coach Tito Vilanova with his assistant Jordi Roura took the first training session of the new season this morning. With the Spanish internationals still on holiday there were fourteen first team players at work at the Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper: Messi, Alexis, Adriano, Mascherano, Pinto, Afellay, Muniesa, Bartra and Dos Santos are all injury-free while Villa, Alves and Fontas all look very close to receiving medical clearance to play, Cuenca and Thiago have injuries and worked out in the gym. Eight B team players, Oier, Sergi Roberto, Femenia, Ilie Sanchez, Rafinha, Lobato, Sergi Gomez and Carles Planas trained with the first team and will be included in the group for the first preseason trip to play Hamburg next Tuesday.
Vilanova also gave his first press conference where he acknowledged that the season would not be easy. He recognised the Liga and the Champions League as the main goals while stating that in the transfer market the objective is to sign a player who can double as a central defender and defensive midfielder.
However, the best news of the day was the visit from Eric Abidal. Three months after his operation and he is looking great. However, there was no statement or anything to say if and when he can return to training so with such a complicated thing we should just rejoice in the fact that he is looking so well. Time will tell if can ever play again.