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Köln, Dortmund, Chelsea, strictly in that order

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Köln, Dortmund, Chelsea, strictly in that order

Postby FCBayernNews » Thu May 03, 2012 5:50 pm

Forty-eight hours ahead of Bayern's final Bundesliga fixture of the season away to FC Köln, the Champions League dominated the agenda at the club for two hours, as Munich staged a media open day for 80 domestic and foreign reporters. The journalists watched FCB train, and then quizzed Jupp Heynckes, Philipp Lahm, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Arjen Robben and Manuel Neuer.

Naturally enough, the Säbener Strasse was a busy place, as reporters from England, Italy, France, Russia, Holland, Brazil, Qatar, the USA and Iran fired off questions about the European final against Chelsea. However, finding answers was a challenge for the boss and the stars. "It's hard for me to be talking about Chelsea at this stage," said Schweinsteiger, "our mental focus is basically more on Köln and then Dortmund."

The squad used the two days off at the start of this week to move on from the triumph of making the final on home soil, and recover from the punishing programme of 15 games in 50 days. "It's really done us good to have a couple of days off and get away from it all. A lot of the players left town," revealed Lahm.

As of Wednesday afternoon, the players returned to base to start preparing for the 34th Bundesliga fixture of the season away to Köln on Saturday. The energy and commitment in the day's training session proved that the stars are physically and mentally back to their peak. For all the intensity and toil, the fun factor also came to the fore. Heynckes handed out words of praise, made a few corrections, and encouraged his men to work even harder.

On Thursday, the coach supervised passing and positioning exercises, followed by a series of fine-tuning routines, working on crosses, shooting practice and moving the game line. "We worked very hard yesterday and today," said Franck Ribéry, who is determined to turn in a sparkling display in Cologne, "we're taking Saturday's match seriously and want to win."

The final league fixture comes too soon for Daniel van Buyten, but some four months after fracturing a metatarsal, the Belgian centre-back finally resumed the team training programme on Wednesday. "It's wonderful that Daniel has come through training without any reaction yesterday and today," Heynckes said on Thursday.

The boss is hoping that Van Buyten could be a contender for the DFB Cup final squad some 10 days from now, although he warned that any reaction to the foot injury would be a problem. "It's too early to make any predictions," he said. The Champions League was an unavoidable presence at the club on Thursday, but everyone concerned is in fact taking each game as it comes: first Köln, then Dortmund, and only then Chelsea.
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