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First training session

‘Uncompromising’ hard work lies ahead

After a five-and-a-half hour flight, passport formalities, a bus transfer and check-in at the team hotel at around 6 pm local time, the FCB squad began settling in for the 2012/13 mid-season training camp in Doha, Qatar. “The short holiday has done us good. We’ve recharged our batteries for the rest of the season,” declared Manuel Neuer, before making his way to the superbly-maintained practice ground.

Wednesday’s first punishing workout of the week started at 7 pm and was held under floodlights. Boss Jupp Heynckes took charge of all his senior players, with the exception of cruciate ligament victim Holger Badstuber, Kaiserslautern-bound junior pro Mitch Weiser, and Brazilian trio Dante, Luiz Gustavo and Rafinha, who are scheduled to arrive at The Grand Heritage hotel late in the evening. Arjen Robben only made five Bundesliga appearances in the first half of the campaign due to injury, but completed the evening session without difficulty.

Four youngsters in the party

The seven-day trip to Qatar began at 9 am CET when the Lufthansa charter took off from Munich with 80 passengers on board, including Matthias Sammer. “I’m reading a lot about winter sun and how it’s all wonderful and nice,” the board director for sport said, “but pleasant conditions don’t win you trophies. We’re going there to work uncompromisingly hard and really go for it.”

Sammer is determined to avoid even the slightest hint of complacency. “There’s nothing to talk about at this moment in time. We have work to do!” There are no exemptions for the four juniors and reserves - Leopold Zingerle, Daniel Wein, Patrick Weihrauch and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg – who have been invited to join the stars for the Doha event.

Two friendly matches

Apart from daily fitness and football-specific training sessions, the schedule for the next seven days also includes friendly matches on 5 and 8 January. The flight home to the Bavarian capital departs in the evening on 9 January. Prior to that, the players must complete a demanding preparatory programme, although they are ready and willing, “because we all want 2013 to be a successful year for FC Bayern,” commented Toni Kroos.