FCB in Lippstadt for stamina, tactics and team spirit
On Friday morning the Bayern pros practised free-kicks under Carlo Ancelotti's auspices. Xabi Alonso, Franck Ribéry and Julian Green curled the ball over the wall, trying to get past Sven Ulreich between the sticks. It was Ancelotti's fifth training session and the last in his first week at FC Bayern, and the Italian is very pleased.
"I'm happy with my first week here. All players were highly focused and in good condition. Everything worked out well," the Italian said at Friday's press conference at the Säbener Strasse. The first EURO participant has resumed training: David Alaba reported back to the Säbener Strasse HQ on Friday, talking to Ancelotti before completing the squad programme. "My first impression is excellent. Here we go again," the 24-year-old told fcbayern.de.
The new head coach has to make do without a significant part of the squad as several players are still on holiday after the EURO, but that is "no problem" for Ancelotti: "It's important that they recharge their batteries. They've played a lot. We've got time. The Bundesliga starts on 26 August."
Debut in Lippstadt
However, the countdown to Ancelotti's first match has already started. The Italian will make his debut on the Bayern bench against fifth-tier SV Lippstadt at the Am Bruchbaum stadium on Saturday at 17.00 CET (live on Sport1, highlights on FCB.tv after the match). "The purpose of these friendlies is to refine stamina, organisation and tactics. I want to see a good match and good team spirit," commented the 57-year-old, and stressed the significance of the latter.
"Team spirit is most important. I want my players to go out there, play together, help each other and form a unit. That's the key to success, not the system," declared Ancelotti.
Badstuber needs patience
The match comes too early for Alaba and Holger Badstuber. The centre-back, who sustained a fractured ankle in February, resumed the squad programme on Monday. "He's worked hard this week, but he's not yet fit to play," explained Ancelotti, who expects Badstuber to be available in about two weeks.
On Saturday some FCB youngsters will deputise for the pros who are on holiday, as they have done in training during the week: "I don't want the lads to play the full 90 minutes after only one week of training," Ancelotti announced.
The friendly against SV Lippstadt is a special present handed to FC Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummnigge on the occasion of his 60th birthday last September. Rummenigge joined FC Bayern from Borussia Lippstadt, a predecessor to SV Lippstadt, in 1974. The net proceeds from the match will be split between the Rummenigge's home club and the Lippstadt refugee centre.