Hello China… (or 你好中國!)
We’ve arrived in Beijing for the second leg of our 2016/17 pre-season tour and our feet had hardly touched the ground before the hard work resumed.
There was time only for the players to drop their bags off in their rooms and perhaps give their teeth a quick brush before they were down through reception and back on the team bus for a first training session in China.
A warm welcome from supporters who’d gathered in arrivals at the airport and at the hotel helped to give the boys a spring in their step as they set off to the Olympic Sports Centre to work out the stiffness in legs inevitable following a nine-hour overnight flight.
Not even Khalid from the IT Department was safe from the autograph and selfie hunters who wouldn’t take no for an answer!
However, the biggest clamour of all was reserved for Yaya Toure who seemed in high spirits as he made his way through the airport, stopping for pictures and signing shirts, causing one girl to break down in ecstatic tears.
>There was a further boost in store for the squad when they got back to the hotel as reinforcements started to arrive separately, reporting back from their summer breaks.
Joe Hart, Sergio Aguero, Jason Denayer and David Silva were four who came back just before the squad left for training and will be looking forward to getting back in and among the boys to catch up after their holidays and to work with Pep Guardiola for the first time.
It may have only been a brief stop in Munich en-route to Beijing but it was one that several of the junior members of the tour party will never forget, playing in front of 68,000 people at one of Europe’s greatest sporting arenas.
Gael Clichy is one of the elder statesmen of the squad these days and he’s been watching the young players’ first-hand over the last fortnight and is pleased to see how they’re improving under Guardiola.
"The young players are improving, we're improving,” Gael said following our narrow defeat to Bayern Munich.
“In a short period of time, Pep has shown us how great he is. Of course, being great doesn’t mean having results, but everyone is looking forward to this season.
"We all know the way he wants to play and it's not for me to tell you what he wants. It's very good. It's very impressive. It's fresh and he has new ideas.”
Those new ideas will be seen again on Monday night when Beijing’s Bird’s Nest Stadium hosts the first Manchester derby to ever be played outside of the UK.
It promises to be an incredible occasion and we’ll have all of the build-up, as well as our usual array of training diary entries, galleries and videos right here on ManCity.com over the coming days!