Barça and Golden State Warriors meet

The team swapped shirts with Harrison Barnes / MIGUEL RUIZ-FCB
Harrison Barnes from the Warriors and the blaugrana players tested out their skills at San Francisco State University

Barça have once again strengthened their links to the NBA. This time with no more, no less the current champions of the North American basketball league, Golden State Warriors. A delegation from the NBA final winners, led by one of their star players Harrison Barnes, took part in an event with the Barça first team players. Harrison Barnes was accompanied by Raymond Riddler, vice president of Communications and Public Relations at the franchise, as well Jeff Addiego, the director of Basketball Operations.

The basketball hero Barnes showed Sergio Busquets, Iniesta and Gerard Piqué one or two tricks to improve their game with the ball in their hands. The three Barça players tried their hand at long range shooting, Gerard Piqué showing himself to be the handiest blaugrana with a basket from a fair distance away, something that eluded his team mates.

Before the basketball training lesson there was shooting from the three point line for the squad, cheered on by a Harrison Barnes acting as coach. Marc Bartra answered questions from the media before wandering back to the court, picking up a loose ball and finding the basket from a good 15 metres away, much to the delight of the press and his team mates.

Official welcome

After the fun and games were over, the squad had their photographs taken with Barnes, the NBA trophies and the Champions League trophy. The coming together of champions and the traditional exchanging of shirts caused great interest from the media gathered at Cox Stadium for the occasion.

Session at the Cox Stadium in San Francisco

Bartra and Piqué on their way to train at the Cox Stadium / FCB
Barça have trained without Mathieu and Arda Turan on a day that has seen president Josep Maria Bartomeu present at the session

The Cox Stadium in San Francisco has witnessed the second training session of the day for Barça in the Californian city. The Barça president Josep Maria Bartomeu was present after travelling to the US following Monday’s official announcement of his mandate. The recent election victor was able to greet the squad and the coaching staff before proceedings got under way.

One of the stars of the day was Joan Barberà. One of Luis Enrique’s team of coaches, Barberà celebrates his birthday this Thursday and there were congratulations and plenty of laughs from the players. The morning session was overseen by the Barça coaching staff with Jérémy Mathieu remaining in the gym to do some physio work and with Arda Turan working on his own out on the training field. The session was open to the media for the first 15 minutes and the main news was the return of Adriano to train with his team mates after working out alone in the previous session.

Once the training session was some players headed for an event with the Golden State Warriors, the current NBA champions. The team will return to training at 6.30pm local time to complete the second session of the day ahead of Saturday’s game with Manchester United

Kick off times for the first two league games of 2015/16

Málaga caused an upset at Camp Nou last season winning 1-0 / VÍCTOR SALGADO-FCB
FC Barcelona will visit San Mamés on Sunday 23 August at 6.30pm CET and play host to Málaga six days later on Saturday 29 August at 8.30pm

Dates and kick off times confirmed for the first two league games of 2015/16 season for FC Barcelona. On Thursday the Spanish Football League have announced that Luis Enrique’s team will begin the defence of their league title on Sunday 23 August at 6.30pm CET against Athletic Bilbao in San Mamés. The game will come just six days after the sides meet in the second leg of the Spanish Super Cup at Camp Nou.

The first league game of the season at Camp Nou will be on the second weekend of the campaign when Barça play hosts to Málaga on Saturday 29 August at 8.30pm CET. Between the two fixtures will come the game away at Getafe, kick off time yet to be confirmed, that has been brought forward from week 10’s round of matches due to Barça’s participation in the FIFA World Club Cup in December.

USA tour videoblog, part three: Welcome to San Francisco

Jordi Alba arrives in San Francisco / MIGUEL RUIZ-FCB
Exclusive footage of the players as they fly north from Los Angeles to San Francisco

The third day of Barça’s trip to the United States mainly involved their journey from LA, where they beat the Galaxy 2-1 on Tuesday, to San Francisco, venue of their second fixture in the International Champions Cup. Shortly after landing, Sergio Busquets and Ivan Rakitic spoke to the media.

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Bartomeu: “The squad is complete, Luis Enrique is very happy with his players”

Josep Maria Bartomeu addresses the media in San Francisco / MIGUEL RUIZ-FCB
The president speaks shortly after arriving in San Francisco to catch up with the rest of the FC Barcelona touring party

Josep Maria Bartomeu arrived in San Francisco on Wednesday, and on arrival he spoke to the press. He hinted that there will be no further transfer activity during the preseason when he commented that “the team is ready. We have a complete and balanced squad and Luis Enrique is happy with the players he has.”

But he was asked to clarify the situations of Pedro and Adriano. His response was that “nobody has addressed the club officially. We need all of the players because we are aiming to win every title this season. They’re going to be required.”

Still on the team’s ambitions for the coming campaign, Bartomeu said that “we are hoping for the kind of season that Barça fans like, with us winning a lot of cups … It’s not that we’re ambitious at the moment, we’ve always been that way. But this year there are more titles than ever to play for.”[[CITA_1]]He also mentioned his new technical director, Robert Fernández, explaining that “we spoke to him in February and we liked his way of thinking. He knows Barça and has experience of working in the Sports Department. He was unable to come here at the time because he was working somewhere else.”

He concluded by revealing that Fernández will be flying out to join the team in the USA on Thursday or Friday.

We spoke to Robert Fernández in February and we liked his way of thinking
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