FCB internationals start preparing for Euro 2016
Three days after the DFB Cup triumph in Berlin the FC Bayern internationals reported for duty again. On Tuesday afternoon Manuel Neuer , Jérôme Boateng , Joshua Kimmich , Thomas Müller and Mario Götze, who is recovering from a fractured rib, set off for the Germany training camp in Ascona, Switzerland. Coach Joachim Löw is aiming to lay down a good foundation for strong displays at Euro 2016 in France from 10 June to 10 July.
Löw has about two weeks to fine-tune his players' stamina, tactics and team spirit in the seclusion of Lago Maggiore until 3 June. The Germany head coach has to cut his 27-strong preliminary squad down to the final 23-man squad by 31 May. The two friendlies against Slovakia in Augsburg on 29 May and Hungary in Gelsenkirchen on 4 June serve as dress rehearsals for Löw before setting off for France.
Bayern striker Robert Lewandowskitakes up international duty on Thursday, when he will report for the training camp of Germany's group opponents Poland in Arlamow. The 27-year-old has a little more time to regenerate than the Germany internationals before preparing for Euro 2016. Poland will play friendlies against the Netherlands in Gdansk on 1 June and against Lithuania in Krakow on 6 June before setting off for their La Baule team base. Poland take on Germany, Ukraine and Northern Ireland in Group C.
David Alaba has even more time than Lewy to shake off any weariness as the defensive all-rounder will join his Austrian team-mates in Laax on Friday, where head coach Marcel Koller will prepare his troops for the tournament. Austria contest two friendlies against Malta on 31 May and the Netherlands on 4 June before taking on Hungary, Portugal and Iceland in Group F.
Thiago and his Spanish compatriots prepare with no fewer than three friendlies, against Bosnia-Herzegovina in St. Gallen on 29 May, against South Korea in Salzburg on 1 June and against Georgia in Getafe on 7 June. The title-holders want to fine-tune as a team before crossing swords with the Czech Republic, Croatia and Turkey in Group D.
Kingsley Coman and hosts France will prepare for the tournament with two friendlies, against Cameroon in Nantes on 30 May and Scotland in Metz on 4 June. Six days later Les Bleus contest the Euro opener against Romania. The other opponents in Group A are Albania and Switzerland.