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Positive status check

Sammer: We’ve put in good work so far

The flight lasted more than five hours, the training sessions have been demanding, and Thursday’s friendly was no gentle stroll: the last five days have been intense and energy-sapping for the Bayern stars. But the good news for Pep Guardiola’s troops was that they were awarded Friday off. That provided other personalities at the club a chance to summarise the Volkswagen Camp Qatar so far and draw some initial conclusions.

“We’ve put in good work so far,” board director for sport Matthias Sammer said on Friday, echoing Pep Guardiola in praising the “perfect conditions” in Doha. FCB head coach Guardiola has made the most of the superb facility to supervise “very intense, highly interesting and exciting training sessions,” Sammer reflected, “the coach prepares every workout in incredible detail.”

Guardiola also instructed his men not to go easy in the first friendly of 2014 against Al-Merrikh SC, which the treble winners won 2–0 without undue trouble, despite a “less than easy playing surface,” Sammer commented. Nor did the coach spare his men in the build-up to the game, as the training session a few hours earlier had clearly taken its toll on the players. “Training is very hard and intense,” remarked Jérôme Boateng, “it’s no surprise a few of us had heavy legs.”

Bayern were set on their way to victory by 18-year-old Julian Green, the USA–born FCB reserves’ top marksman and scorer of the opening goal against the Sudanese champions. “He’s coming on very, very well,” stated Sammer, “his movement is extremely good and he fitted in very well indeed.” Fellow reserves Alessandro Schöpf and Ylli Sallahi also made “a good impression,” Sammer remarked. “The lads have settled in well to the group and are working hard in training. That’s more than okay.“

Reviewing the injury situation, the board director for sport said he was “delighted” at the progress made by Bastian Schweinsteiger and Arjen Robben. “They’ve done a lot of very good work in terms of fitness and are close to resuming team training,” Sammer reported. Daniel van Buyten will also be back with the rest of the squad soon, although the Belgian has been restricted to the weights room for a short time due to a stretched hamstring.

The status report midway through the camp is altogether positive. “The training camp is going very well for us as a team,” confirmed Boateng, before heading off to enjoy his deserved day off. However, the Germany international and his team–mates will be back on the training ground on Saturday morning. That is no problem at all for Jerome and company: “We have to keep it up!” he declared.