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Over the first hurdle

Podolski arrival delayed, Butt reports fit

For the first time this year, the sweat flowed in buckets on the Bayern squad’s third day in Dubai, following the most punishing training session of the winter schedule so far. On Monday morning, the stars hauled weights over the turf, performed flat-out sprint exercises and then went off on a stamina-building run. The afternoon workout also focused on fitness, although the enjoyment factor was higher as footballs were part of the programme.

At the end of the day, the players collapsed onto their beds exhausted but satisfied, after surmounting the first real fitness hurdle of the ten-day Dubai training camp. Head coach Jürgen Klinsmann has ordered a schedule centred on regeneration for Tuesday, with the players awarded the afternoon off for the first time since reporting back from vacation last week.