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Training in the snow

Podolski resumes squad programme

Winter has returned to Munich with a vengeance. Tuesday lunchtime saw a group of FCB stars working out on a snow-covered training pitch at the Säbener Strasse, with yet more flakes descending from the heavens in intermittent flurries. Despite the freezing air temperatures, hardier souls such as Lukas Podolski and Hamit Altintop wore shorts, while the use of an orange ball was not just advisable but essential.

But before the start of the outdoor session for the players who came on after half-time in Kaiserslautern the previous evening, large areas of the pitch had to be cleared of the frozen white stuff. Assistant coach Nick Theslof and fitness coach Darcy Norman both lent their shoulders to the effort.

Van Bommel in good shape

The players who completed at least 60 minutes of the 2-0 warm-up win at the Betzenberg on Monday reported to the performance centre for regeneration exercises. Their number included Mark van Bommel, who came through a first serious physical test since twisting a knee in Jeddah in excellent shape. “It was important for him to play the 90 minutes,” remarked coach Jürgen Klinsmann two days ahead of the final winter friendly away to FSV Mainz.