'Finally back to business'

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The temperatures outside in Munich have reached minus double digits, so Philipp Lahm & co. certainly wrapped up warm for training on Wednesday morning. Gloves, snoods and beanies pulled well down over their faces to ensure the cold wind had no place to attack. Only Arjen Robben began the session without any head protection.

Looking at the Dutchman, you can see how ready he is. “We’re really excited,” said Bayern’s no. 10 ahead of the first game of the year at SC Freiburg on Friday. “Training is nice but in the end, we all want to play. We had a good training camp and also some good sessions here in Munich. Everything is positive, so let’s get going now.”

Robben has been able to take part in almost all of the mid-season training activities, only missing the Telekom Cup on Saturday because of a cold. “It’s a shame – you feel good and fit, and then you come down with something,” lamented the Netherlands international. Having overcome that illness, there is now nothing standing in his way of featuring in the first competitive match of the new year.

Age is no reason for worry

"I’ve trained normally this week and that’s why I don’t see a problem for Friday,” said the forward with confidence. Robben is bubbling with eagerness, and looking at him, you wouldn’t say he was one of the oldest players in the team. The team’s father figure celebrates his 33rd birthday on Monday.

“You’re as old as you feel and I feel good,” stressed Mr. Wembley, who extended his contract by another year only a few days ago. “I don’t put any particular pressure on myself because of my age. Of course I know that I’m heading towards the twilight of my career, but I still have a few years left and I will enjoy them.”

And preferably with titles. "That’s definitely what we’ll try. We have the chance to do that with our super squad.” A win in Freiburg would therefore be a good start, although Robben does not yet have great memories of the Schwarzwald Stadion: The Dutchman is yet to score there. Watching him in training, where he eventually opted for a red and white beanie hat, you can at least hope he’ll end that run on Friday.

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