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Arrival in Morocco

Bayern set out on Club World Cup mission

Bayern’s last trophy mission of a silverware-laden year is off and running: just four hours after securing top spot in the Bundesliga at Christmas the playing and coaching staff boarded a Lufthansa flight for Morocco. After a somewhat bumpy ride the treble winners landed in Agadir at just after 1 am CET, where the temperatures were around 12°C. “We want to collect the trophy we still lack this year,” said Karl-Heinz Rummenigge as FCB pursue their quest to win the FIFA Club World Cup.

“We want to win it but it won’t just take care of itself,” the chairman warned prior to takeoff. Munich have already won the Champions League, UEFA Super Cup, Bundesliga and DFB Cup and are looking to fly home from the north-west of Africa in a week’s time with a fifth trophy of the year.

“This trophy certainly isn’t rated very highly in Germany, perhaps because German clubs haven’t won it that often,” Rummenigge opined. Bayern have won forerunner competitions to the Club World Cup twice and the chairman played his part on both occasions, as a player in 1976 and vice-president in 2001. “The trophy is much more highly regarded on all other continents,” continued Rummenigge, “our team will definitely give it their all in the effort to win it.”

Pep’s 23-man squad

Pep Guardiola, a Club World Cup winner as Barcelona coach in 2009 and 2011, has named a squad including all his fit players. The only men left behind in Munich are injured trio Arjen Robben, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Holger Badstuber. The 23-strong party also includes reserve striker Julian Green.

Bayern’s schedule in Morocco includes daily training and press conferences. After touching down in Agadir and checking in at the team hotel, the players were sent to their rooms for a good rest, before a gentle evening workout. FCB face Chinese champions Guangzouh Evergrande in the semi-final at 8.30 pm CET on Tuesday.

On Wednesday the Bayern party will transfer to Marrakech, venue for Saturday’s third-place play-off ( 5.30 pm CET) or final (8.30 pm CET). The players and coaching staff are due back in Munich on Sunday before departing for the Christmas break.