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First session in Arco

Pep puts players through their paces

Thursday evening’s opening workout of the summer training camp drew a crowd of around 2,000 to Centro Sportivo in Arco, Bayern's usual base for their annual stay in Trentino. And at around 6 pm, the fans rose from their seats, pulled out their cameras and phones, and began to applaud. Philipp Lahm and Tom Starke were first out onto the ground, but the clapping continued until all 27 Bayern men had emerged onto the superbly prepared pitch.

The appreciation and warmth shown by the loyal fans meant the first public training session in northern Italy took place in a fantastic atmosphere. The work began with a brief warm-up, followed by routines with the ball at the players’ feet. The aim of a three-on-one exercise was to keep playing the ball in the air. If it touched the ground, the exercise was restarted. The session continued with a number of match situation drills, but always involving the ball. That was no surprise, as Guardiola had stated his playing philosophy quite clearly on Thursday lunchtime: “I don't like the opposing team having the ball. I want the ball!"