Created on 07-08-2014 at 21:15 PM
Even for freshly-crowned world champions, playing football in the night is a little unusual. “Staying awake wasn't easy,” revealed Bastian Schweinsteiger. “It was an odd feeling,” admitted Arjen Robben. But at the end of the day the club’s World Cup stars did a good and professional job in the MLS All-Star Game in Portland, which kicked off just before four o'clock in the morning Central European Time. It ended in a 2–1 defeat, but Philipp Lahm and Co clearly thrilled the large local crowd as the Audi Summer Tour 2014came to a successful conclusion.
“We've had an outstanding reception here in the USA,” summarised FCB board director for internationalisation and strategy Jörg Wacker. “The passion and enthusiasm that broke out in the States during the World Cup was tangible.” Schweinsteiger, who flew to the west coast of America with his World Cup winning colleagues and Netherlands star Robben specifically for the MLS All-Star Game, said he was “impressed. What the people in Portland did before and during the match was superb! It just makes playing even more enjoyable.”
The fans packed into Providence Park caught just a few minutes of the biggest name stars, who had not even trained once after their summer vacations. Manuel Neuer was the first to come on as a substitute, followed by Jérôme Boateng, Lahm, Schweinsteiger, Mario Götze, Thomas Müller and Robben. The fans rose from their seats almost as one and fired off countless photos from their smartphones and digital cameras.
Getting into the rhythm
The Bayern party set off for home immediately following the final whistle. After around ten hours in the air the Lufthansa charter flight landed in Munich at 7.30 in the evening. “It all starts again for real now,” Robben said. “We need to recover our training rhythm as fast as possible.”
Coach Pep Guardiola will be keen to press on with the pre-season preparations as the first semi-serious appointment of the season is on Wednesday with the DFL Super Cup clash in Dortmund. Whereas the World Cup stars have it all to do, the likes of star signing Robert Lewandowski, France ace Franck Ribéry and David Alaba have already been back at work for several weeks. “Portland was the perfect location for a training camp,” summarised Wacker, “and at the same time we've strongly promoted Bayern in the USA. That's a perfect combination!”