Michael Burgess is the football and rugby league writer for the Herald on Sunday.

Football: Kiwis share camp with City slickers

Manchester City have won the league twice in the past five seasons and boast some of the most recognisable names in football. Photo / AP
Manchester City have won the league twice in the past five seasons and boast some of the most recognisable names in football. Photo / AP

The Kiwis will have the chance to mix with some of football's biggest stars this week when they train at Manchester City's exclusive facilities.

The New Zealand side will hold a practice session at the Premier League club on Wednesday (NZT) inside City's Etihad Campus complex.

Manchester City have won the league twice in the past five seasons and boast some of the most recognisable names in football. Their squad includes Belgian Kevin De Bruyne, who cost the club 55 million ($93 million) when he joined from Wolfsburg, and former Liverpool star Raheem Sterling, who was signed for 49 million two years ago. They also have Argentine striker Sergio Aguero, Spanish star David Silva and Belgian skipper Vincent Kompany.

City are managed by Pep Guardiola, who joined this season after unprecedented success with Barcelona and Bayern Munich. Guardiola perfected the tiki-taka style at the Nou Camp, which was later adopted by the Spanish national team, and then won seven trophies in three seasons in Munich.

Guardiola does his daily work at the stunning facility that was completed in 2014 for an estimated 200 million. There are 17 pitches in total, including an exact replica (in terms of dimensions, grass blend and height) of their Etihad Stadium pitch. There is also hotel-style accommodation for up to 80 players, three swimming pools and a 7000-seat stadium used for practice matches, academy games and the Manchester City women's team.

Up to 450 players, from juniors to the first team, use the facility each week.

The Kiwis visit continues a tradition after they trained at Liverpool's famed Melwood centre on last season's tour of England.

Autex - Proud sponsors of New Zealand rugby league since 1981

- Herald on Sunday

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