Fourth straight title is 'a great incentive'

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The working day began with a little morning exercise: abdomen, legs, lower back. The players stretched and strengthened their muscles on blue rubber mats for 15 minutes before they disappeared along with Pep Guardiola behind closed doors at the Säbener Strasse. They worked flat out from then on. Tuesday was free of training to give everyone a breather. On Wednesday morning FC Bayern started fine-tuning for the Bundesliga opener against Hamburger SV on Friday at 8.30 pm.

"We're well prepared. I start the season with confidence," Philipp Lahm told the media after training, "if we play to the best of our ability we'll leave the pitch as winners." Jérôme Boateng too is glad that it "finally" restarts. The Bayern defender does not believe that the encounter with his ex-club will be a walkover. "We don't have to upstage our opponents, after all. It's about winning the game."

According to Boateng HSV are dangerous -- precisely because of the unlikely cup defeat against third-tier team Carl-Zeiss Jena. "Everyone says it's going to be easy, but they come here with nothing to lose. You must never underestimate your opponents." Bayern's Germany international added that only a concerted effort would make sure that the first points of the season stay in Munich.

Guardiola 'fully committed'

Three points in the opener: it would be an ideal start and a first small step on the Reds' path to their big goal, a fourth championship title in a row. "Nobody has ever achieved that, not even the towering team of the 70s," said skipper Lahm, "it's a great incentive, the players are thinking about it." Boateng added: "We desperately want to make it!"

They worked hard for it in the pre-season period. "The going-in position is good," commented Lahm. Head coach Pep Guardiola too is "super motivated and fully committed. It's obvious that he absolutely wants the best possible success." The team can still improve by "one or two percent. But we're complaining at a very, very high level." Lahm concluded: "If we're hungry, if we want it and have the energy, no other team will be German champions."