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‘Lots of laughs’

Müller the golfer, Alaba the shopper

Even when they have time off, some of the Bayern stars just can’t be without a ball – a miniature version if necessary. Bastian Schweinsteiger, Thomas Müller, Pepe Reina and Sebastian Rode used the break handed them by Pep Guardiola from midday on Wednesday until the evening on Thursday for a round of golf. “I’m not exactly about to turn pro, but it was good fun,” Müller reported.

The World Cup winner said the time off after eight training sessions and a friendly match had done him the world of good: “We’ve worked very intensively, or at least that’s what my body’s telling me. After four or five days you feel a few twinges and your muscles go stiff.” Nor is the exercise purely physical. “Pep Guardiola is a coach who makes great demands on your brain. And I’m not talking about practising headers,” Müller quipped.

The 25-year-old knows there is “room to improve on the details. It’s about having even fewer tricky and dangerous moments in front of our own goal and scoring goals even more simply,” he remarked. “It gets really interesting in March and April. That’s when we have the games in the cup and Champions League, where it’s in your own hands.”

By then, David Alaba is aiming to have been back in the team for as long as possible. “I want to get my place back quickly and play as many games as I can,” said the Austrian, who resumed the squad programme on Monday after two months out following knee surgery. “It feels great to be back. You realise just how much you love football when you’ve not ben able to play for two months,” he reflected, “my knee’s feeling good and I have no problems with training.”

The 22-year-old used his leisure time to join Franck Ribéry and Mitchell Weiser in exploring the surrounding area, with a brief shopping trip thrown in. “It was nice and we had a lot of laughs,” Alaba revealed, “it was nice to get out and about.” On Thursday evening, the whole squad will be back on the ball.