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Stars back Germany

Upbeat mood for Saturday workout

When the Bayern stars drove out of the underground car park at the Säbener Strasse facility on Saturday lunchtime and headed off to enjoy the rest of a weekend without training, the rain clouds had finally blown away. The preceding 90 minute workout on the practice ground took place in a colourful setting, as the fans watching from behind the security fences unfolded their olive green, dark blue, bright yellow or – naturally – red umbrellas. But the sporadic heavy downpours failed to dampen the spirits of anyone present, neither spectators not players.

That might well have been because work on the ball was the main element of the final training session of the first phase of pre-season. Closely observed by assistant coach Hermann Gerland, the group of 12 players passed, tackled, crossed and practised their finishing skilld. After completing his first workout at his new club on Thursday, Spanish newcomer Juan Bernat already looked comfortable and at home in his Bavarian surroundings. With work over for the day, the players headed for the dressing room and sent messages of good luck to their team-mates in Brazil.

“If you look at the way it’s gone, I think Germany will win it. They've been the best team overall in the course of the tournament,” reasoned Bernat. And fresh from some trademark sharpshooting on the practice ground, Robert Lewandowski voiced agreement: “I hope Germany win the World Cup.” If that happens, the mood in training on Monday might even be a shade better.