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News in brief

Range of drills for Pep’s select group

Pep Guardiola once again called his men in for a 90-minute training session on Wednesday morning. After a warm-up programme including sprints and coordination drills, the Spaniard supervised his men in a series of passing, crossing and shooting exercises. The group did not include Thiago, Diego Contento (both sports rehab training), Claudio Pizarro (calf) and Franck Ribéry, who is set to resume the squad programme on Thursday. There were also two new names on the absentee list: Rafinha and Sebastian Rode completed light workouts in the performance centre after the strenuous efforts of the preceding week. The next public training session at the Säbener Strasse facility is scheduled for 10 am Thursday.

World Cup Final sets TV records

Philipp Lahm and company’s World Cup triumph in Brazil has set new TV audience records in Germany. Some 34.65 million viewers tuned in to watch Sunday’s match, over two million more than the previous all-time viewing record of 32.57 million, set a few days earlier when the Germans thrashed Brazil in the semi-finals. And in further evidence of football’s dramatic surge in popularity in the US, 26.5 million viewers watched Germany’s efforts in the 2014 Final against Argentina, the biggest-ever audience for a soccer game in US history. The previous record of 24.7 million viewers was set three weeks ago for the USA’s group stage meeting with Portugal.