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Day one in Dubai

Biathlon á la Klinsmann for Munich men

Gentle was the best way to describe the Bayern squad’s first workout of the winter training camp in Dubai. A warm-up in the fitness room was followed by practice ground standards such as left-foot touches only, two-touch play and goals with headers. However, Jürgen Klinsmann and his coaching staff came up with a real test of stamina to round off the opening session, a football biathlon.

Four teams of four players each first completed a “cross-country” discipline, a 1 km jog around the private training ground at the royal palace, before stopping for the “shoot”. Each group was required to score four times into a miniature goal from around 15 yards, with every miss causing the entire team to repeat the exercise, before the routine ended with another turn around the “cross-country” course. The players – and the knot of watching fans – thoroughly enjoyed themselves, this despite a physically demanding schedule before and on arrival in the Emirate.

No sleep till check-in

The Airbus A319 bearing the Bayern party landed in Dubai at 6.30 am local time, five and a half hours after taking off from Munich, and some ten minutes earlier than the scheduled arrival time. The flight had benefited from a strong following wind, the captain explained.

Touchdown time in the United Arab Emirates equated to half-past three in the morning CET, so it was hardly a surprise that many of the FCB men seemed a trifle weary as they stepped onto Persian Gulf soil. Some, including Bastian Schweinsteiger, had not slept at all, while others, Philipp Laux for one, had managed a full three hours, with the rest reportedly somewhere in between.