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'A milestone’

FCB start construction of new sports complex

Friday morning featured a momentous event for FC Bayern München as the club ceremonially laid the foundation stone for a new sports complex with an elite youth academy at the Ingolstädter Strasse site in the north of Munich. “I am convinced this will be a milestone in the history of FC Bayern,” commented club president Karl Hopfner, “we have some catching up to do in comparison with other major European clubs. That’s exactly why we’re doing this now!”

Hopfner was joined by FCB chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, architect Prof Albert Speer, Mayor of Munich Dieter Reiter and mayor of the district of Oberschleißheim Christian Kuchlbauer for the ceremonial start of construction at the site. FC Bayern has budgeted “investment of around €70 million” for the new facility.

The complex is scheduled to be completed in time for the start of the 2017/18 season and will incorporate eight football pitches, including a 2,500 capacity stadium, the youth academy, a headquarters building with office space and a multi-purpose sports hall. “It’ll be full steam ahead as of 2017,” Rummenigge declared after the foundation stone ceremony.

Four times as big as the Säbener Strasse ground

Hopfner introduced the project comprising the new sports complex with the youth academy using an animated film. “We want to define and live by our motto, mia san mia, on that front too,” announced the club president, “we want to create an environment in which our juniors find the best possible conditions to become excellent football players. Of course we all hope for new players like Philipp Lahm, Thomas Müller, David Alaba or Holger Badstuber.”

Subsequently Dieter Reiter spoke to the guests. “This is a good day for Munich and for FC Bayern. The project is a great signal for all youngsters,” commented the Mayor of Munich. The site, which FC Bayern acquired in 2006, covers 30 hectares, making it four times as big as the club premises at Säbener Strasse. A new crossing with traffic lights at the Ingolstädter Strasse has already been built – it was a condition set by the municipal authorities, just like the construction of a new bus stop.

'Keep up the two-pillar system'

The FC Bayern junior team, from the U-9 to the U-19 levels as well as the reserves, will find a new home there. “We want to keep up the two-pillar system,” stressed Rummenigge, “on the one hand we'll continue to sign top players. On the other hand we want to train our players ourselves.” The point is to “preserve a Bavarian element at FC Bayern. Ideally you get one player per year who has the chance to join the first-team squad.”

Head coach Pep Guardiola too was very pleased with the new complex: “It's great news for this club, the city, the people, for the identification. It's much better to invest in a new youth academy than in one or two top, top players. You'll find the new Lahms, Müllers and Schweinsteigers there.”

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