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Training, matches, and the annual photo shoot

“Heads down… one… two… three!" Then the heads came up, and the stars beamed. A flash went off, and the shutters rattled. No-one kept count of how often this scene was repeated at the Säbener Strasse facility on Monday morning, but the FCB pros had to stay calm and focused right to the end of the official pre-season photo shoot.

The requirement was a total of 19 images, for sponsors and the media. The locations were the car park, the training ground and the multipurpose sports hall. Some were individual shots, some were group photos, and some were of the entire playing and coaching staff. Some of the snaps featured props, and others required the players to celebrate. No fewer than 30 photographers called for concentration and perfect facial expressions. However, after what some observers felt was a new record of just 55 minutes, the shots were in the can and the players returned to training.

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