presented by
‘A bit special’

FCB primed for Bundesliga restart

The Bayern players were in good spirits but showed plenty of determination on Wednesday as they took up preparations for Friday’s Bundesliga meeting with VfL Wolfsburg. “The mood in the dressing room is very, very good,” reported captain Philipp Lahm two days before the league opener. The first match of a new campaign was always “a bit special,” the World Cup winner said. It is also a genuine test of where FCB stand right now.

“Wolfsburg are dangerous, because they’ve brought in a lot of potential in recent years,” warned Holger Badstuber, “they have plenty of hungry players who are aiming high.” Just like Badstuber, who made his competitive comeback after a 19-month lay-off in Münster on Sunday and is now champing at the bit for an appearance at the Allianz Arena. “I’ve worked towards this for a very long time and I’m looking forward to it!”

Holger ready for action

Boss Pep Guardiola has described Badstuber as “an old new face,” as the defender revealed with a grin, but the champions are without a host of big names including Bastian Schweinsteiger, Javi Martínez, Thiago, Rafinha and the suspended Jérôme Boateng. Franck Ribéry will also be forced to sit out the restart clash. “It’s not optimal,” acknowledged Lahm, “but we still have a very good squad and we’re a match for every other team in the league.”

In terms of his own fitness, Lahm rated his condition as “very decent. We’ve got through a lot of good work in recent days.” The 30-year-old believes the foundations for match fitness are laid in training, “and you pick up the rest in games.” Badstuber, who said he still has “a lot of work to do,” is simply delighted “to be 100 percent part of the team again. It makes me very happy.” Holger is ready to play if called upon: “I’d be delighted if that faith was placed in me.”