Sunday was another busy one with two sessions and a meeting with Barcelona...
Sunday mornings are traditionally a quiet affair, more associated with a leisurely stroll than an intense workout – but in pre-season for a Champions League football team there is rarely opportunity to rest.
Having enjoyed a free Saturday afternoon following a recovery session in the morning, it was back down to work for the Chelsea squad in Tokyo for all except N’Golo Kante, who has flown home to work on correcting a knee injury he sustained late last season.
Resistance bands were in use for the first part of the day as the lads worked on their fitness before a little competition was introduced.
It has become traditional for the winners in a training game to pose for a picture to commemorate the event. Nobody wants to suffer the humiliation of defeat against their mates, let alone have them rub it in by jumping around and posing for the camera.
So when Ross Barkley sparked pandemonium with a late winning goal for his team, there was despair for the opposition, not least Jorginho, who tried to wrestle our photographer’s camera away to prevent the photo being taken. No such luck unfortunately, Jorgi…
Afterwards, to keep up their own fitness levels, Frank Lampard and coaches Jody Morris, Joe Edwards and Chris Jones decided that rather than taking the arranged transport back to the hotel, they would run it in instead.
It was a busy day for Lampard, who was joined by Petr Cech and Ashley Cole at a special Rakuten Cup welcome event that afternoon. There, they met Barcelona’s players, staff and officials too and spoke about what it means to face the Catalan giants.
In some free time, Cole sat down with chelseafc.com to talk about his Chelsea career and what went through his mind when preparing to face some of the best players in the world, like Barca’s Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo. There are few players around who can boast the experience of the former left-back, who announced his decision to retire this summer, so make sure you do not miss that interview later this week!
From that event in Roppongi, central Tokyo, it was back to the NACK5 Stadium for Lampard, who had the second session of the day to oversee.It was another one full of laughs and competition, with the squad really enjoying the action. One again, there was a photo for the winning team, made up of the more ‘senior’ members of the group (see above)!
Afterwards, there was a bit more light-hearted fun too, as Petr Cech, despite sporting a suit and formal shoes, could not resist the lure of a crossbar challenge against young goalkeeper Jamie Cumming. Unfortunately for the Blues legend, those shoes were holding him back!
Elsewhere, Cole was getting into a competition of his own. He joined fans at a special Tokyo Cup competition organised by the Chelsea Foundation, teams representing our partners at Nike, Yokohama and MSC Cruises, as well as two of our official supporters clubs.
The 38-year-old decided he wanted in on the action, and realising how much it meant to those around him, was quickly involved organising his team-mates in a bid for victory. In the end, he helped his side to a 1-1 draw, with the overall ‘Champions League’ trophy going to the Yokohama team, Nike picking up the ‘Europa League’ silverware.
A serial medal winner during his own career, Cole will no doubt have been disappointed not to add to his haul here in Tokyo. It’s that competitive nature, you see…