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Relax and recharge

Holidays beckon at last for Müller & Co

Happily enough, Lufthansa laid on their flagship superjumbo Airbus A380 to take the Germany party home from South Africa. The plane is a true giant at 73 metres in length, 24 metres tall, with a wingspan of 80 metres, and a take-off weight of up to 560 tonnes. It was a good idea, because Thomas Müller had acquired some excess baggage: the Golden Boot as top scorer at the World Cup, the trophy for Best Young Player, two African tom-toms for his two Man of the Match awards, and a chorus of praise from around the world.

The 20-year-old starlet arrived back in Frankfurt at 6.15 am on Monday morning with the rest of the Germany party, but without one or two of his trophies due to the tight travel plan. However, he was delighted about a reward of a different type: holiday. “I can cope with the physical burden pretty well, but obviously, it’s not bad to get away from it all for a while and take a pause for breath,” said Müller, who played 66 games in his first season with the seniors.

Müller and the other seven Bayern members of the Germany party now have three weeks’ vacation. The Germany contingent, plus beaten finalists Arjen Robben, Mark van Bommel and Edson Braafheid, will resume training at the Säbener Strasse on 2 August. Until then, Müller is determined “not to kick a ball, but to lay back and relax.”

Special appointment for Lahm

“Sleep and regeneration” are Philipp Lahm’s goals for the next few days. The Germany captain, Bayern’s busiest player last term with 67 games, needs to rebuild his reserves of energy in a hurry: he will marry fiancée Claudia in the Munich suburb of Aying on Wednesday. “I hope I’m completely fit. We’re expecting 100 guests, family and our closest friends. I’m really looking forward to my wedding, because it’s a once-in-a-lifetime event,” said Lahm, who is likely to spend his honeymoon “in Greece, most probably”.

By contrast, Jörg Butt will be heading north. The FCB man was Germany’s number three keeper in South Africa, and enjoyed a personal highlight with an appearance in the third-place play-off against Uruguay. After seven years out of the national set-up, he earned a fourth senior cap, although it may well be his last. “I don’t think I have a great future in the national team,” the 36-year-old quipped. He will spend the vacation in his home town of Oldenburg. “I’ve been in the south long enough,” he grinned.