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Klose and Toni

Star strikers pledge prolific partnership

The mood at Bayern’s summer training camp could hardly be better. Despite six sometimes energy-sapping workout since Monday morning, the players have been smiling and chatting away before, during and after the sessions. Getting to know each other and communicating with the new signings is a key priority at the Oschberghof hotel in the picture-postcard surroundings of Donaueschingen.

“You sense there’s plenty of life in the team,” Miroslav Klose remarked after the Wednesday morning session. “There’s no doubt about our desire. This team is determined to succeed. You feel it every time we train. It’s very, very positive.” There were no problems whatsoever with the lack of a common language at the present time, the new signing reported. “We use player talk,” Klose intimated, “whatever comes to hand.”

Quality on the ground and in the air

He and new strike partner Luca Toni were already further down the track in terms of understanding, the Germany hitman advised. “We’ve not called on each other privately yet, but it’s already pretty good out on the field,” Klose observed. “We’re working it out using a bit of English. We know what we have to do.”

Four weeks ahead of the Bundesliga restart, Klose is confident of striking up a productive partnership with the giant Italian. “I reckon we’ll complement each other very, very well,” the 29-year-old declared, full of admiration for his new team-mate: “He’s real quality, on the floor and in the air.”

Shortage of time

The World Cup winner was quick to return the compliment. “Miro’s a great player. We’re talking to each other in English. The important thing is an understanding on the field, and earning success together.” However, Toni emphasised, there was “not much time” until the opening match against Hansa Rostock on 11 August. “I hope it’s enough.”

“We need the entire team to hit form, not just Klose and me,” Luca continued. Toni is proving a stickler for placing the interests of the collective above those of any individual, as when he was asked how many goals he was aiming to score. “I’ll try and score as many as I can, or assist in goals being scored,” he replied, “but what matters is victory for Bayern.”

Three trophies and a big TV

Klose, the leading scorer at last summer’s World Cup, set somewhat more precise goals for the new campaign: “The absolute priority is to win at least one trophy, although if we have the opportunity, I’d obviously like us to win all three.” The pre-season League Cup, which sees Klose meet his former club Werder Bremen on 21 July, is not included in the calculation. “In the League Cup, the aim is to win, play with confidence, and earn some initial respect.”

Klose and Toni come across as very different personalities, but they do share one thing in common: some two weeks after arriving in Bavaria, bothare still looking for accommodation. “I haven’t found what I want yet,” Klose confirmed, “but there are plenty of places I’d be able to live.”

Klose will settle out of town, but Toni intends to live in the heart of the city, although the choice of apartment is the sole responsibility of his partner Marta Cecchetto, due in Munich next week. “She’ll be taking the decision,” the big man confirmed, naming his solitary mandatory when it comes to interior décor: “It has to have a big TV.”