Just a few hours before they step out at Anfield in front of 54,000 fanatical supporters, Roma moved out of the limelight to train at a tiny local leisure centre in Liverpool.
Regulars at the Lifestyles Walton Sports and Leisure Centre may have been surprised to see some footballing megastars when they turned up for the 10am Step Aerobics class on Tuesday morning.
Edin Dzeko, Daniele De Rossi and Co are in the city ahead of their Champions League semi-final, and rather than training at a huge complex, they instead opted for a small centre just 1.5 miles from Anfield.
Roma train on the tiny pitch at Lifestyles Walton Sports and Leisure Centre, a far cry from their usual Trigoria training centre
Edin Dzeko walks into the leisure centre, just hours before stepping out in front of a huge 54,000 fans at Anfield
Liverpool’s County FA use the Walton Hall Park as their base, which is also used as a leisure centre daily by the public
Radja Nainggolan (second left) was among the Roma players preparing for Tuesday’s Champions League semi-final first leg
They will arrive into the cauldron of Anfield, via a coach journey through thousands of fans, on Tuesday evening and will likely have enjoyed stepping away from the furore for a few hours.
Walton Hall Park is the home of the Liverpool County FA, with members of the public able to hire the full-size pitch for just £75 an hour.
The facilities at the centre include three 3G seven-a-side pitches, one nine-a-side outdoor pitch and a floodlit full-size area.
The 3G pitches are available for £51.80 – or £28.80 off-peak – while the nine-a-side pitches cost just £57.50 for the hour.
Roma’s players may be more accustomed to carpet-like pitches at their Trigoria training centre, but they instead got a taste of British grassroots level on Tuesday.
Allison, a goalkeeper being targeted by Liverpool next summer, steps off the Roma coach with his team-mates for training
A coach overlooks the session as players stepped out of the limelight for a couple of hours before Anfield’s cauldron of noise
Federico Fazio, formerly of Tottenham, is one of the players who will have a knowledge of what it’s like to play at Anfield
The players, including ex-Manchester City forward Edin Dzeko, left The Titanic Hotel to travel to training on their team bus
The Italians arrived in the city on Monday, and even took time out to lay a wreath at Liverpool’s Hillsborough memorial outside Anfield.
De Rossi showed a classy touch as he placed a wreath that contained a card with a message in tribute to those fans who lost their lives.
The squad were joined by iconic retired former player Francesco Totti, who stood for a moment of silence with the team.
A few miles away from Anfield, where the stadium is being prepared for Tuesday’s game, Roma’s players trained in a park
Aleksandar Kolarov looked in high spirits as he arrived at the pitch in Liverpool, which costs just £75 a hour to hire
Former Manchester City defender Kolarov put his boots on and stepped out on the pitch, which is used by Liverpool’s FA