Created on 20-07-2015 at 11:48 AM
Five days into their trip to China, the players are moving noticeably more slowly. The training sessions are intense, with additional fitness workouts at the team hotel. The situation is not made easier by the high humidity and travel-induced fatigue. In short, FC Bayern are setting a hot pace on the Audi Summer Tour. “It’s gone very well so far. We have to carry on in exactly the same way,” observed Xabi Alonso on Tuesday.
The aim of the tour is to lay the foundations for a successful 2015/16 campaign. The club’s targets are the same as ever: “Our justifiable ambition is to go as far as we can in all three competitions,” Philipp Lahm told a press conference at the hotel in Shanghai, “we have a record to break, winning the German championship four times in a row. That would definitely be special.”
The captain is convinced FCB can “be in the thick of the race for all three trophies. We have a strong squad and top players in every position.” Lahm listed Manuel Neuer, Thomas Müller, Jérôme Boateng, David Alaba and Holger Badstuber as “players who’ve reached a very, very good footballing age.”
Alonso is also confident about the new season: “This squad is good enough to be a match for anyone else.” The Spaniard is hoping his second season at FC Bayern will be “even easier. I feel very much at home, because I know the way things work here now. I’ve settled in well.” Alonso is also making good progress in learning German.
The 33-year-old has been unable to take in much of Shanghai as a tourist destination, although Monday evening’s Audi Night at least afforded the players a breathtaking panorama of the city skyline. “It’s great to be here,” said Alonso, “even though we’re such a long way from Munich, we’re meeting unbelievably passionate fans. It’s extraordinary.” Following Tuesday’s friendly meeting with Inter Milan, the Bayern party will travel on Wednesday morning to Guangzhou, the last stop on the tour of China.