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Winter workouts

Monday, 4 pm: FCB report back for training

15 days of holidays without any sporting activity whatsoever? Unthinkable: elite professional footballers still have to complete some arduous drills while technically on vacation. For example, Mario Götze and Manuel Neuer went cycling together in Dubai. “50 kilometres done!” the World's Best Goalkeeper posted on Instagram. Other players used the well-deserved winter holidays to go exploring: Thiago travelled to Thailand and Jérôme Boateng to the US. But on Monday afternoon at 4 pm CET all the players report back for the first official (and public) training session of the year at the Säbener Strasse.

“We need to prepare well to achieve our ambitious goals,” commented Robert Lewandowski, who wants to carry on where he left off in the first half of the season: the Pole scored 23 goals in 26 competitive fixtures. After Monday's opening workout the FCB pros will complete another public session on Tuesday at 11 am before travelling to Doha (Qatar) on Wednesday morning for a seven-day winter training camp.

Early starters Götze and Bernat

It is likely that the whole squad will go to the Emirate, but the final decision is dependent on some performance and fitness tests at the beginning of the week. Mario Götze and Juan Bernat, who had long spells on the sidelines during the first half of the season, reported back early on Sunday for initial workouts on the training pitch at the Säbener Strasse.

On 22 January FC Bayern travel to face Hamburg in the first competitive fixture of 2016. “Our players are strong, we want to go for it in all three competitions,” announced Lewandowski. The main thing is to “have fewer injured players in the second half of the campaign. If so we can achieve great things.”