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Sun-baked training

Pros and fans make light of the heat

The heatwave currently affecting large areas of northern Europe is firmly established over Munich too. Temperatures soaring above 30 degrees Celsius on Saturday had the crowds rushing to lakes, rivers and swimming pools in search of refreshment and some method of cooling down. The city’s famous beer gardens, and especially the shady areas under the typically leafy horse chestnut trees, were packed from an early hour.

However a fair number of people opted for a trip to the Säbener Strasse where FC Bayern were holding a public training session in the morning. The focus on the two previous days was performance diagnostic testing and medical examinations, but the action switched to the training ground on Saturday where the stars continued their preparations for the new season despite the sizzling heat.

Much work with the ball

The crowd of around 700 saw Pep Guardiola and his staff push the players hard and cause them to sweat profusely. Following the warm-up, the plan called for a variety of passing drills, before the 21 players present – including seven members of the reserve team – played a series of short-sided games on a reduced-size playing area. All the stars threw themselves gamely into the intense workout, which was interrupted by regular breaks for drinks.

The 80-minute session ended with keepers Tom Starke, Sven Ulreich and Ivan Lucic beating out shots from all angles and ranges. Prior to heading for their richly-deserved showers, the players signed autographs for the patient and loyal fans who also braved the searing heat and continued to urge on their heroes right to the end. Guardiola has given his men Sunday off, before captain Philipp Lahm and Co report back for the next workout on Monday morning.