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A fine vintage

Mid-80s generation ‘keeps on improving’

If you were hoping to track down Philipp Lahm or Andreas Ottl, simply head for the table-tennis room, where the FCB pair spend practically every minute of their sparse free time in Dubai, battling each other for supremacy or taking on Christian Nerlinger and Phlipp Laux at doubles. Just a few yards away, you’ll find Michael Rensing playing pool, while Christian Lell and Bastian Schweinsteiger are never far from one of the two available tables.

Lahm (born in 1983), Ottl (1985), Rensing (1984), Schweinsteiger (1984) and Lell (1984) share more than just a similar taste in leisure pursuits. “We get on really well, we do lots of things together, and we sometimes see more of each other than we do our wives and girlfriends,” reports Rensing. The quintet are all to a greater or lesser degree home-grown Bayern youth products, winning the German U-19 championship together in 2002, and moving on as a group to the FCB senior squad.

Hoeneß’s praise for youth section

“Some generations are especially good and keep on improving,” Uli Hoeneß explained to, praising the club’s top-quality youth section: “We have highly professional coaches and a very professional environment. And in Hermann Gerland, we have a reserve team coach who continues to develop our best youngsters, preparing the way for them to make it into the senior squad. It’s a well-functioning system.”