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Sweltering heat

Guardiola pushes his men to the limit

Bayern were hot in Sunday morning’s training session in Portland, and not just due to temperatures soaring above 30 degrees Celsius on the west coast of the USA. A day after the focus of theAudi Summer Tour USA 2014 moved from New York to Portland, coach Pep Guardiola and his team significantly increased the training burden as the stars broke sweat in earnest.

“We weren’t really able to us the time in New York for training,” explained Holger Badstüber after the three-day stay in the Big Apple, some 4,000 km away. The friendly against Chiva Guadalajara and a busy schedule of sponsor and marketing appointments meant the squad only trained twice in New York. But for the five days in Portland, “training is our priority again,” Badstuber continued. The second friendly of the tour, the Major League Soccer (MLS) All-Star Game, does not take place until Wednesday night and marks the end of the USA trip.

“We have superb conditions here and can train in the morning and afternoon. Sessions like today’s are great,” said Badstuber, much taken by the intensity of the drills and exercises at the Portland Pilots’ compact stadium on the local university campus. Guardiola set up three separate obstacle courses for his squad of 20, working on all the essential physical attributes required of a footballer: coordination, ball control, dribbling, pace and finishing.

Urged on by the coaching staff, the players showed great determination  throughout the two-hour workout. Even in the game of six-a-side on a restricted-size pitch to round off the session, there was no let-up from Badstuber, Lewandowski and Co as the stars battled for every inch of turf. “We’ll have even more quality in training once the rest of the internationals return,” said Badstuber as he looked ahead to the coming week, when the temperature is likely to increase even more.