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Europe's top ladies get in shape for World Cup at La Manga Club

La Manga Club has become a centre of excellence for women’s football this month (January) after four of Europe’s top international teams headed to the luxury resort for warm weather training breaks.
Norway, ranked fourth in Europe, England (fifth), Netherlands (eighth) and Spain (ninth) all took the chance to work on their skills at the award-winning Murcian venue ahead of important World Cup qualifying matches coming up in the next three months.

They were joined at La Manga Club by Ireland’s national squad and, as well being put through their paces in training, all five teams had the opportunity to enjoy some valuable match practice in a series of friendlies.

It was the first time that England’s new head coach Mark Sampson had taken the charge of his 30-strong squad since replacing Hope Powell at the start of December, with the highlight of the six-day training break coming with a friendly against Norway, which ended in a 1-1 draw.

The early-year camp at La Manga Club has become an established part of the England women's calendar and they are just one of the international teams to head to Spain’s flagship resort this spring to make use of its world-class facilities – which include eight international standard grass pitches.

Germany’s Borussia Dortmund undertook a mid-winter training break at the resort for the third successive year earlier this month as they continue their preparations for an assault on the Bundesliga and the UEFA Champions League.

Budding stars of the future from countries including Portugal, Norway, Poland, Denmark, Turkey Sweden and Slovakia will compete in international under-17 and under-19 tournaments in February, while an international girls’ under-19 tournament featuring the likes of England, Scotland, Italy, Norway, Denmark, USA and Sweden will take place a month later.

La Manga Club has made a name for itself catering for the needs of the world’s sporting elite, and last month Barcelona joined a list of clubs including Real Madrid, Shakhtar Donetsk and more than 60 other teams who have taken advantage of its five-star facilities in the last 12 months.

As well as its football training amenities, the resort boasts a fully-equipped gym and indoor swimming pool, ideal for recovery sessions; and a host of rooms and spaces to cater for tactical meetings, private team dining or any other requirements.

Set in 1,400 acres, La Manga Club boasts unrivalled facilities as a sports and leisure destination including three 18-hole championship golf courses, a 28-court tennis centre and a 2,000sqm spa and fitness centre. It also offers the choice of a five-star hotel, four-star serviced apartments and townhouses and more than 20 bars and restaurants.

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