English giants Manchester City have arrived in Australia and wasted no time getting on the training ground ahead of their glamour International Champions Cup clashes at the MCG.
The Citizens touched down at Brisbane Airport overnight and were put through a light session at their Gold Coast training base this morning as they prepare to face fellow European powerhouses Real Madrid and Roma.
City will also play Adelaide United behind closed doors during the week and sister club Melbourne City at Cbus Super Stadium next Saturday as part of their pre-season tour.
Manager Manuel Pellegrini has brought a number of his superstars on his first visit to Australia but urged the younger members of his squad to make the most of the opportunity they'll be given.
“We’ll have a mix of the young players and the first-team – we’ve brought many important young players who have the chance to demonstrate why they are in this squad,” Pellegrini told reporters on Saturday.
“For that reason, I am sure supporters coming to see us play against Melbourne will see a very beautiful game.
“We expect it will be a useful game for both teams – we are just starting the season, so it’s important we play as hard as we can and it will be a good experience to play.”
While only nine members of City’s first-team have made the trip to date, the club revealed they will be bolstered by the arrival of more players throughout the week.
Internationals Yaya Toure, Vincent Kompany and Samir Nasri are among those already here, with the likes of David Silva, Wilfried Bony and Joe Hart set the join their teammates after an extended off-season.
Pellegrini said he and his players had adjusted well after the 21-hour flight and was confident the trip would provide the ideal preparation to launch a renewed tilt at the Premier League title they surrendered last season.
“I had no problem with the change of hour – I slept very well,” he said.
“We’re very happy to be here – it’s my first time, I’ve never been here before.
“It’s a very beautiful place – it will be very comfortable week – we have all of the facilities we need so I know we’ve chosen the right place.”