Created on 30-07-2016 at 01:50 AM
“Philipp!” - “Philipp!” - “Philiiiiiiiiiiiipp!” Shortly after 18.00 local time the excitement at Charlotte's Bank of America Stadium reached its climax: Philipp Lahm came to sign autographs. The Bayern faithful had watched the earlier training session, supporting their stars with emotion and noise. “Holgeeeer!” - “Alabaaa!” - “Ribéryyyy!” They cheered every time one of the Bayern pros came closer.
So much for the enjoyable part of the first training session in Charlotte a few hours after FCB's arrival in North Carolina. The Munich men worked up a sweat in temperatures of almost 35 degrees Celsius. Carlo Ancelotti had prepared a number of drills which required switches of play, versatility, playing when there is little space, and shots on goal.
At the moment the focus is on improving the physical condition and the organisation as a team, declared Ancelotti. This is also the goal for the second friendly of the Audi Summer Tour. Bayern cross swords with Inter Milan in the International Champions Cup in Charlotte on Saturday at 23.00 CEST. “It's always nice to take on big teams, but at the same time it's preparation,” commented Thiago: “We have to improve our legs, our bodies.”
Building up team spirit
The match against Inter has a welcome side effect for Ancelotti as he will meet his counterpart Roberto Mancini again. “I respect him very much, and I'm looking forward to meeting him,” said the FCB head coach, who expects “a very interesting match against a strong team. We'll try to turn in a good display, act as a team and win.”
Ancelotti is “very pleased” with the commitment his players have shown in the US so far. “I don't have the full squad yet, but those who are here are all working hard and doing their best.” The 57-year-old feels that his players are building up their team spirit: “We spend a lot of time together. We were at a nice steakhouse yesterday,” the Italian revealed: “We had fun.”