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Hard work continues

Boateng warns against complacency

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The excellent training conditions at the Aspire Academy in Doha are renowned around the world. Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid were here before Bayern, with Zenit St. Petersburg and Red Bull Salzburg due shortly afterwards. And right now Schalke 04 are also training at the world-class facility, just a stone’s throw away from Bayern. That’s a fortunate coincidence for Jérôme Boateng, whose half-brother Kevin-Prince plays for the Royal Blues.

However, there has not been a chance to meet up yet, the Bayern centre-half reported on Tuesday, the third day of the Volkswagen Camp Qatar. “We have similar training schedules,” he explained. “But I’m sure the opportunity will arise very soon.”

Currently the focus lies on training, the 25-year-old emphasised: “We’re working hard on making a good start to the second half of the season. Many people are saying we’re running away with the title, but we have to keep on working if we’re to actually make it happen.”

Bastian Schweinsteiger agrees: “We had an incredible year. However, the great thing about football is that there are always areas of our play we can improve.” The most often-quoted example in recent days is to control games from start to finish, as Boateng noted: “We had many games where we didn't show up until the second half.”

There is still a lot of work to be done if FCB are to seamlessly build on their record-breaking 2013. Schweinsteiger’s sights could not be set higher: “I want to achieve what no team has ever achieved. I want to defend the Champions League title.”