Ronald Araujo surprised by sprinklers during Barcelona training - in pictures

Catalan team face Espanyol in La Liga on New Year's eve

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Barcelona hit the ground running as they prepared for the resumption of La Liga season.

The Catalans face Espanyol on New Year's eve - their first game since the World Cup in Qatar.

As the Barca players underwent training on Friday, there was time for some fun and games. Ronald Araujo, who is on his way back after suffering a thigh injury in September, was in for a surprise after a sprinkler system at the Joan Gamper training ground got activated just as he was standing in front of it.

Meanwhile, Barca president Joan Laporta insisted Frenkie de Jong is one of his most important players and the club never wanted to sell him.

The 25-year-old Dutch midfielder has been strongly linked with a move to Erik ten Hag's Manchester United.

"He is one of the mainstays we have, he is one of the great young talents and called to be one of the leaders of the team," Laporta told Barca TV. "I never wanted to sell Frenkie."

De Jong joined Barcelona from Ajax Amsterdam in 2019.

Updated: December 24, 2022, 7:42 AM