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'We've stepped it up'

FCB with 'light stimulus' before restart

On Tuesday the toughest members of the FCB squad stood out from the rest: Thomas Müller, Jérôme Boateng, Holger Badstuber, Kingsley Coman, Joshua Kimmich and Julian Green. In temperatures of four degrees below zero the six wore short trousers for training. “You stay fresh and don't fall asleep this way,” commented a grinning Müller on his light legwear. However, the training session they had just completed was anything but sleep-inducing.

“We've stepped it up today,” said Müller after 90 intense minutes, speaking with his customary deadpan expression of a “light training stimulus” only three days before the Bundesliga restart away to Hamburger SV. The Bavarians were in for explosive sprints, quick changes of direction, body swerves and shots on goal in the first part of the workout, followed by a mini-tournament with four teams.

“Small games with no space: those are pretty intense,” reported Müller, whose team came in last place. A team of five featuring Arjen Robben and Arturo Vidal won the tournament. Twenty-four men, among them seven players from the junior team, worked out under Pep Guardiola's auspices in the third to last session before the first competitive fixture of the year.

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