For the team and 'the big games'

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Carlo Ancelotti and his coaching staff have come up with an idea: Sometimes the FCB players sprint barefoot on sand, sometimes they work with hula hoops, sometimes they play handball, and on Saturday there was a tactics-based session on the cards. So there’s plenty of variety on show at the training camp in Doha. But one thing hasn’t changed: The passion that the Munich players have for their work, which is spurring them on to celebrate goals and get worked up over mistakes.

“We’re working hard and with intensity,” reported Manuel Neuer before adding, “I think we need that.” That is because there was not much time in the summer after the European Championship for the team to adjust to Carlo Ancelotti as the new coach. “It’s good to finally have a training camp with everyone here. For some players it’s the first with the new coach,” recalls the current World’s Best Goalkeeper.

“A good week”

The intensive period in Doha with two training sessions per day is important to “be able to better understand the new gameplan. We were missing that a bit in the summer,” said Neuer. “It wasn’t ideal in summer,” stressed Arjen Robben, “Now we have a good week to work.” And that is also crucial.

That is because there is still “room for improvement. We can play even better. You can see in training how much quality this squad possesses,” claimed the Dutchman. It’s now about exploiting this potential, especially with the last-16 tie against Arsenal in the Champions League around the corner in mid-February. “A training camp like this is good for us to regain our rhythm straight away,” said Robben before stressing: “I want to win titles. That’s the only thing that counts.”

“We want to be prepared”

The time in Doha is the foundation for a successful second half to the campaign, according to Xabi Alonso: “It’s an important period for us. We know we have big games to come in the second half of the season. We want to be prepared.” Manuel Neuer knows, “Nothing will be handed to us, so we have to work for it.” So, keep sweating away!

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