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Stars set to sweat in the desert sun

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Stars set to sweat in the desert sun

Postby FCBayernNews » Sun Jan 01, 2012 6:10 pm

The Bayern players have spent the last 12 days on their mid-season holidays. Bastian Schweinsteiger flew off in search of the sun, Manuel Neuer pursued his love of winter sports, and David Alaba took it easy with his family in Vienna. It was a relaxing and refreshing spell away from the pressures of the game, but it all comes to an end at 9 am on Monday morning, January the second.

The stars will gather at Munich airport before boarding a Lufthansa plane to Doha in Qatar, for a one-week winter training camp aimed at laying the foundations for success in the second half of the season. "A week spent working out in good weather conditions is very important for our footballing rhythm and team spirit," explained boss Jupp Heynckes. He and his men will train at the ASPIRE Academy for Sports Excellence, and will also reside there for the first time. The billion-dollar complex, the biggest training facility of its type in the world with no fewer than seven football pitches, now has its own hotel: The Grand Heritage was completed last year.

Once in Qatar, the host nation for the 2022 World Cup, the FCB party will emerge from a five and a half hour flight to pleasant air temperatures of around 20°C. Germany's most successful club first used the superb multi-sports facility exactly a year ago for the 2011 winter training camp, although unlike last year, every single member of the squad will travel to the Gulf state this time.

Schweinsteiger, who missed nine games in the run-up to Christmas with a broken collarbone, is expected to play a full part in the training programme. Long-term absentee Breno will also fly with the group, while talented FCB reserve Emre Can has been invited along for a taste of life with the senior squad. The third goalkeeper alongside Neuer and Jörg Butt will be Rouven Sattelmaier.

Getting prepared, physically and mentally

"It'll be hard work. It has to form the basis for the second half of the season," observed chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, "our Bundesliga rivals will be chasing us hard over the next few months, and we want to hit our targets in the Champions League and DFB Cup. For that, we'll have to be top fit."

Vice-captain Schweinsteiger echoed those words in an interview with fcbayern.de: "We'll need to be brilliantly prepared physically, mentally and tactically. The second half of the season includes matches where you're under ceaseless pressure."

Flying visit to India

During the week-long workout in the desert state, Heynckes will focus on physical preparation and tactical schooling, including set play routines. "We've been unable to work on this for many weeks, because we were playing every three or four days and recovery was more important," commented the 66-year-old. "It meant we were forced to neglect one or two things."

Prior to the Bundesliga restart match away to Borussia Mönchengladbach on 20 January, the squad will make a flying visit to India for a prestige friendly. The party takes off from Doha on 9 January heading for New Delhi, where the Bavarians take on the Indian national team at 6 pm local time on 10 January. Following a nine-hour flight home, the players and coaching staff return to Munich on 11 January, ready to begin preparations for the Gladbach clash.
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