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Taking a breather

Stars recharge batteries for thrilling finale

May the first, Labour Day in Europe, is paradoxically a holiday in Germany. Almost all the Bayern stars downed tools too, because after seven weeks with a match every three or four days, the club has been quiet since Sunday afternoon. Following the customary warm-down on the day after beating Stuttgart, Jupp Heynckes sent his players home and told them to take a breather until 3 pm on Wednesday.

“The players need to recharge their batteries," the boss said, “and I think not seeing or talking to each other for a couple of days will do us a lot of good." The programme of 15 matches in 50 days had driven “many of the players to the limit," reported Jörg Butt. His words were echoed by Thomas Müller, who added the second against Stuttgart in stoppage time: “Especially when the sun is beating down, you're basically finished after 60 minutes. In the last counter-attack, I was running and taking huge strides and I noticed: boy, I've hit the wall! But then I scored, the referee blew for full time, and I just stayed lying down. I enjoyed it."

Back to everyday life

The exhausted Bayern players now have two full days off and can return to normal life among their families and friends. “It's the first week in a long time when we can go back to everyday life, and I'm looking forward to it," said Müller.

The only players reporting to the Säbener Strasse on Monday and Tuesday were Daniel van Buyten, Breno and Emre Can, who are currently pursuing sports rehab programs. They were joined on Tuesday by Bastian Schweinsteiger, Mario Gomez, Jerome Boateng and Ivica Olic, all of whom came in voluntarily for light workouts.

The squad reconvenes at headquarters on Wednesday, fresh and relaxed ready for the last three matches of the season, in which Bayern could end up with 73 points in the league, enough for the title in nine of the last 16 seasons, and two immensely valuable pieces of silverware.