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Day 1 in Agadir

FCB vow to crown year of superlatives

Bayern’s plan for their final tour of the year, the trip to the FIFA Club World Cup 2013 in Morocco, is to win the trophy and only then celebrate. With Christmas looming large on the horizon, Germany’s most successful club are keen to add to their treble triumph from last season and the UEFA European Super Cup in August by adding a fifth piece of silverware to their collection and gilding what is already the most successful year in club history.

“Obviously we still have two games we need to win. If we take the trophy it’ll be a good holiday, both mentally and for our families,” said Franck Ribéry shortly after the FCB party landed in Agadir late on Saturday evening (local time). Plenty of fans had turned out to welcome the favourites for the Club World Cup, with the UEFA Best Player in Europe Ribéry the most popular of the stars when it came to grabbing souvenir photos.

Pep Guardiola’s men spent Sunday morning relaxing and shaking off their weariness from the previous day’s meeting with Hamburg and the flight. The team only checked into their hotel on the outskirts of Agadir well after midnight, so Ribéry & Co were given the morning off to recuperate. Some took a stroll in the extensive hotel gardens, others reported to the FCB medical staff for treatment, and the rest simply enjoyed the sunshine and mild 20°C temperatures.

In the afternoon, the focus turned to the 45,000 capacity stadium in Agadir, where Ribéry and keeper Manuel Neuer spoke at a press conference prior to Munich’s first training session under the African sun. The stadium is the venue for the Champions League holders’ first match in the tournament, the semi-final against Asian cracks Guangzhou Evergrande on Tuesday evening at 8.30 pm CET. “I don’t know much about the Chinese team,” admitted Ribéry, “but we’re certainly favourites.”

“The Club World Cup is our last target this year,” said Neuer. “We’ve been very successful but we’re looking for the crowning glory now. It’s a very special competition for us.” The keeper insisted the champions of Europe would not underestimate their Chinese opponents. “We want to win the cup,” declared Neuer, “so we’ll definitely have the right attitude.”