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Off to Qatar

Stars set to sweat in the desert sun

The Bayern players have spent the last 12 days on their mid-season holidays. Bastian Schweinsteiger flew off in search of the sun, Manuel Neuer pursued his love of winter sports, and David Alaba took it easy with his family in Vienna. It was a relaxing and refreshing spell away from the pressures of the game, but it all comes to an end at 9 am on Monday morning, January the second.

The stars will gather at Munich airport before boarding a Lufthansa plane to Doha in Qatar, for a one-week winter training camp aimed at laying the foundations for success in the second half of the season. “A week spent working out in good weather conditions is very important for our footballing rhythm and team spirit," explained boss Jupp Heynckes. He and his men will train at the ASPIRE Academy for Sports Excellence, and will also reside there for the first time. The billion-dollar complex, the biggest training facility of its type in the world with no fewer than seven football pitches, now has its own hotel: The Grand Heritage was completed last year.