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‘Grit your teeth and get on with it’

Gloves and heated soles to ward off the cold

The playing schedule looks good from freezing Bavaria – at least for now. The away match in Hamburg and its maritime climate offers a little respite from the Siberian cold that currently has Germany and a broad swathe of Europe in an iron grip. A temperature of between minus seven and minus 10 degrees is forecast for Saturday evening for the Hanseatic port, perhaps a slight improvement on the minus 10 the Bayern players endured during their final training session in Munich on Friday morning.

In training the players try to protect themselves against the icy front, which has come our way direct from northern Russia, with hats, gloves, face masks, several layers of clothing and warming ointments, even for the feet. “The cold is brutal,” reported Franck Ribéry, despite the two pairs of gloves he was wearing. Ivica Olic, who has experienced playing in Russia, said: “It takes a long time to get warm, but then it’s OK.”