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Brazil, Dubai and Lake Tegernsee

The FCB players' holiday plans

The winter break is finally upon us. After 31 games (including 6 friendlies), FC Bayern are off for a well-deserved Christmas holiday following their win over RB Leipzig. The FCB players are, of course, hugely looking forward to their time off, and some of them have told fcbayern.com what their plans for the holidays are.

Thomas Müller is using these days away to go on holiday with his wife. “During this time off, it’s just important for me to switch off and recharge my batteries.” Christmas Eve “is a special day but it won’t be celebrated any more than it was during my childhood at home with my family,” said the 27-year-old.

Captain Philipp Lahm will also be spending the festive period at home with his family on Lake Tegernsee just south of Munich. “It’s an important festival for us. Our son is really looking forward to it and I have to say, having a child around does remind me of the good old days. It takes you back to your own childhood.” The family will sing together before handing out presents and it’s Lahm’s brother-in-law who’s in charge of the festive cooking: “He’s the chef and will definitely prepare us something great. But whatever it is, it’ll have to be run by me first,” laughs the World Cup winner.

Full house at the Alaba’s

David Alaba is also off back home to Vienna for the gift-giving. “There’s 30 to 40 of us, the presents are all under the tree and I order the food through a caterer so it’s all more relaxing for us. I’m really looking forward to it because I rarely have a chance to see the whole family,” explained the Austria international.

Christmas this year is "particularly special” for Robert Lewandowski. Referring to his wife Anna’s pregnancy, he says, “the best present for me and my entire family is being carried by my wife.” Lewy will be celebrating a “classic Christmas with presents under the tree” with his family in Poland. The 28-year-old added, “there will be a lot of delicious food to eat. I don’t know exactly what it is yet because my wife is in charge there.”

Long trip for Costa

Almost all the foreign FC Bayern players are taking advantage of the time off to return home. That is especially the case for Renato Sanches. At just 19 years of age, the Portugal international spent his entire childhood in his hometown of Lisbon and is really looking forward to returning home after half a year with FCB in Munich.

The longest journeys are likely to come from our South American contingent. It’s a whole 10,679 km from Munich to Douglas Costa’s home in Sapucaia do Sul, Southern Brazil. A price worth paying, however, for the summer temperatures and almost certainly some delicious food. Rafinha is also looking forward to some Brazilian sunshine. “We always have a big party on the 24th December. It starts at midnight and goes on until dawn with dancing and music,” said the right-back. Teammate Arturo Vidal, however, is not heading back home to Chile for the holidays, but will be spending it in Dubai with his family.

Exotic delights

There will be a great range of home specialities for Kingsley Coman, too. At home in Paris with his family, he’ll be enjoying delights such as Christophines au gratin and Pois d’angole choisis – grilled chayotes and deep-fried filled doughballs. The 19-year-old can definitely look forward to some exotic festive food on Christmas Eve.

Javi Martinez has to wait a few days longer for his presents because gifts in Spain are not exchanged until Three Kings Day on 6th January. Nevertheless, there is still a great deal to eat on Christmas Eve: “My mum does the cooking. There’s seafood, salad and cold dishes with ham and cheese – it’s typical Spanish,” said the defender. And then it’s off to church together at midnight.

The coach does the cooking

For Franck Ribery, Christmas is of course a bit different as a Muslim, but the entire family still comes together at his parents’ house during the holidays. “My mum and dad always cook up something great together,” explained the Frenchman, “but the most important part is the atmosphere. I enjoy it when we’re all together.” And there’s presents, too: “For my parents and the children.”

Coach Carlo Ancelotti is heading back to his home in Northern Italy where he will be hard at work at the stove preparing his tortellini alla Carlo for his family and friends. “It’s my favourite dish, and my family and friends love it as well. And I make it really well,” grinned the coach. So, guten Appetit and Merry Christmas!