Ecuador: Barca bid to beat altitude sickness

QUITO - Barcelona, Ecuador's biggest and most successful club from the Pacific port city of Guayaquil, have installed their players in accommodation in Quito so they get used to playing at altitude.

"We're adapting quite well, better than we imagined," Barcelona's Paraguayan striker Juan Samudio told the official website of the club, who last won the league title in 1997 and were nearly relegated last year.

The Ecuadorean capital is 2,850 metres above sea level in the Andes where the thin air is an extra handicap for teams coming from the lowlands. Barcelona put aside $125,000 to cover the costs, El Comercio newspaper reported.

The team have been preparing this week for their opening match in the 2010 championship away to promoted Universidad Catolica in Quito on Sunday.