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Volkswagen Camp Qatar

Punishing training and two friendlies

The conditions for this season’s winter training camp will again be perfect, with temperatures around 20°C, superb grass pitches, and a truly luxurious team hotel. For the fourth time in a row, FIFA club world champions Bayern are off to Doha for the annual Volkswagen Camp Qatar. Pep Guardiola and his team will fly to the Emirate in the Middle East on Sunday 5 January for the mid-season workout, before returning to Munich nine days later on 14 January.

“Thanks to Volkswagen’s support we’ve been coming to the Middle East for a few years now. When we get there, we have everything we need to prepare for the forthcoming challenges,” commented Karl-Heinz Rummenigge. The FCB chairman knows exactly what to expect: “Fantastic training conditions, helpful hosts, wonderful weather and passionate opponents drawn from the region, desperately keen to test themselves against our players.”

The schedule for this year’s training camp includes two friendly matches. The first takes place at 8 pm local time (6 pm CET) on 9 January in Doha against Omdurman-based Al-Merrikh SC, the reigning Sudanese champions. On their way home, the FIFA club world champions travel via Kuwait for the friendly meeting with national champions Kuwait SC at 6 pm local time (4 pm CET) on 13 January.

Perfect conditions

For the rest of the nine-day stay, Guardiola will drill his men at the Aspire Academy, one of the biggest sports training centres in the world. The Bayern party will be quartered in the adjacent Grand Heritage hotel, literally just a few steps from the training ground. “It’ll definitely be another top-class training camp,” remarked Philipp Lahm, “the hotel, the weather and the pitches are so good. We actually stroll from the hotel to the training ground. That’s perfect!”

Audi Volkswagen Middle East Managing Director Thomas Milz Is also looking forward to the Reds’ visit: “True to our status as a partner of football, Volkswagen is closely linked with the number one sport in the world. Football brings people together and stirs the emotions, just like our cars. It’s wonderful to be welcoming FC Bayern Munich to our region again, this time as freshly crowned FIFA club world champions.”

Guardiola and his men have a total of 19 days to prepare for the second half of the season and the official restart fixture when FCB travel to face Mönchengladbach on 24 January. Once again, the build-up begins in the Persian Gulf on 5 January when the Bayern stars will complete their first workout since the holidays. “And maybe it’s a good omen,” speculated Lahm as he recalled the five trophies collected in 2013. FCB laid the foundations for last season’s spectacular assault on silverware in Doha a year ago.