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Training camp underway

FCB in Trentino, Van Buyten excused

The Trentino region of northern Italy basked in glorious sunshine and 30 degree temperatures on Monday, perfect conditions to welcome the new afternoon arrivals from Bayern. The German double winners are spending the next six days on the shores of Lake Garda, although Louis van Gaal and his coaching staff will ensure none of the players mistakenly believe they have come on holiday: punishing pre-season training is on the agenda.

On Monday morning, a party of Bayern players, coaches and officials gathered at the Säbener Strasse ready for the journey to Italy. However, there were a few empty seats on the team bus which conveyed the party to the airport. David Alaba and Christoph Knasmüllner are both representing Austria at the U-19 European championships in France, and Daniel van Buyten was permitted to stay in Munich, where his partner Celine is expecting the couple’s first child. Depending on the speed of events, the Belgian may join up with the squad in Trentino at a later date.

Warm welcome

However, Van Buyten will not go without training during his enforced spell at home, as coaches Marcel Bout and Andreas Kornmayer have remained behind to supervise the player’s workout schedule. Youthful striker Nicola Sansone will also join that group, as the 18-year-old is still at school and cannot attend the training camp.

The main FCB party arrived at their Trentino hotel at half past two, greeted by a sizeable knot of enthusiastic fans. The players ate lunch together before repairing to their rooms. Officials from the town, the region and the local police laid on a welcome reception for their illustrious visitors, represented by director of sport Christian Nerlinger and head coach Van Gaal. “Everything’s very well organised, and the food was good too,“ Van Gaal stated.

Evening session

The playing staff, comprising eight seniors and 16 reserves, started the first workout of the training camp at 6 pm in the evening. The training facility for the camp is in Arco, some ten minutes by bus from the team hotel. The air temperature will have dropped, but the players will still sweat - Van Gaal will make sure of that.