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New leader required

Klinsmann in no rush to name captain

Jürgen Klinsmann took charge of a modest-sized group of 15 players for Wednesday training, including three goalkeepers, two reserves and trialist Joseph Ngwenya. The reason for the decimated squad is well enough known, as the South Americans and the stars who competed at Euro 2008 are still on vacation.

Zé Roberto, the first of the absentees due back in Munich, is expected to resume training sometime this week. Luca Toni is scheduled to arrive on 5 July, two and a half weeks after Italy’s elimination from the continental showdown, while Martin Demichelis, Lucio and Willy Sagnol are set to begin the pre-season programme on Wednesday 9 July.

Individual programme for latecomers

Finally, Germany internationals Philipp Lahm, Marcell Jansen, Tim Borowski, Miroslav Klose, Lukas Podolski and Bastian Schweinsteiger, and Turkey semi-finalist Hamit Altintop, will bring the squad up to full strength when they return on 17 July.

The later arrivals would be assigned individually tailored fitness and conditioning schedules, Klinsmann advised. “The training programme is based upon who comes when. We have plenty of staff, so we can spend time with each individual every day,” the head coach told Wednesday’s news conference at the Allianz Arena.

Search for a good communicator

Klinsmann is convinced the entire squad will be in good shape for the Bundesliga opener at home to Hamburg on 15 August. “And even if it takes a couple of weeks longer, it won’t be a problem. We’re looking at the season as a whole.“

With so many of the squad arriving at different times, Klinsmann is also in no rush to nominate Oliver Kahn’s successor as club captain. “I want the players to have spent time together for a couple of weeks first. I’ll watch and see who takes on leadership responsibilities, and which of the team is the best communicator,“ the coach explained.

Vital job

The captaincy at Bayern was a very important role, the 42-year-old continued, stressing the need for the skipper to possess good people skills: “It’s a vital job, especially coming after Oliver Kahn. That’s why I’ll be making the choice myself before we start the Bundesliga campaign.“