Created on 01-08-2008 at 00:00 AM
Bayern’s trip to Japan began and ended with cakes, the first marking Jürgen Klinsmann’s 44th birthday, the second Bastian Schweinsteiger’s 24th two days later. “Happy Birthday“ rang out of the breakfast room PA system as the entire FCB delegation lined up to wish Schweini all the best. Schweinsteiger was not the only man in a good mood when the party set off for the airport a little later, as the club will feel this year’s visit to the Far East has been well worth the effort.
“I think the overall impression left behind by FC Bayern has been extremely positive,” Klinsmann summarised. “It wasn’t that stressful,” felt Uli Hoeneß, explicitly praising “the fine hotel“ and Lufthansa’s excellent service for minimising the effects of jetlag and the unfamiliar climate. Klinsmann had nothing but encouraging words for “Japanese hospitality“ after the perfectly organised trip.
Compliments to the players
The coach also paid tribute to his players. “The way they’ve presented themselves, from the kids’ tournament, in training and at the match, has been fantastic,” Klinsmann declared. The stars came across as open and fan-friendly, fulfilling countless requests for autographs. “There were always loads of fans at the airport and the hotel,” reported Lukas Podolski.
Munich’s 4-2 victory over partner club Urawa Red Diamonds at the Saitama Soccer Stadium on Thursday also earned FCB a deal of credit. “The game was obviously the highlight,” said Klinsmann, visibly pleased with his team’s best pre-season outing so far.
Klinsmann’s trademark methods and preferences began to emerge for the first time in his new charges’ style of play. “Especially in the first half, we succeeded in keeping the tempo high, letting the ball do the work, and creating chances,” the coach analysed. “We came to Japan aiming to gain useful insights, and that’s been very positive.“
Uli Hoeneß also spoke of “a very successful trip. It’s been a confidence-booster, and a great advertisement for German football and Bayern Munich. You can’t ask for more than that,” the general manager reasoned. “The trip has earned Bayern a lot of affection in Japan,” Podolski argued. Even before the 12-hour flight touched down in Munich on Friday evening, the club’s thoughts were on the next visit to Japan. “We hope we’re able to come back again soon,“ said Klinsmann.