Spanish clubs began training in groups of 10 players on Monday, in line with health protocols, as La Liga takes another step towards the planned resumption of the coronavirus-hit season next month.
Barcelona confirmed that their squad was back on the training ground at 9:30am (0730 GMT), with pictures published on their Twitter account showing several players including Gerard Pique and Sergio Busquets taking part in the session.
Real Madrid players also trained at the club’s base on the outskirts of the Spanish capital, as clubs begin the last step towards being able to work with their full squads together.
Spanish government protocol allows training sessions to be expanded by all clubs, even those belonging to areas that are further behind in the country’s programme of de-escalation from a strict lockdown.
That means teams like Real, Barcelona and Aletico Madrid are able to train in groups of 10, despite both Madrid and Catalonia remaining in ‘phase 0’ as two of Spain’s worst-hit regions.
Spain has been one of the world’s hardest-hit countries by COVID-19 with a total of 27,650 reported deaths as of Sunday, and more than 231,000 confirmed cases.
“It is a ministerial decision. It was very important that all teams could train in the same way,” said Javier Tebas, the president of La Liga, on Sunday.
Tebas reiterated La Liga’s desire to finish the remaining 11 rounds of matches in a season that has been suspended since mid-March.
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