FCB set off for training camp


It’s back to work. On Tuesday morning, shortly after 10 o’clock, the FC Bayern Lufthansa plane took off towards Doha, where the team will spend the next five days preparing for the second half of the season. It’s been a brief but important winter break. “We’ve had a quick pause for breath and I hope everyone’s recharged their batteries,” said Jupp Heynckes before take-off.

There was a total of 132 passengers on board the flight, including journalists, fans and club employees as well as the 72 year-old coach, his support staff and the majority of the players. Robert Lewandowksi, Franck Ribéry, Jérôme Boateng, Arjen Robben, Ron-Thorben Hoffmann, Arturo Vidal, Rafinha and James Rodríguez travelled independently from their holidays to Doha. Manuel Neuer, Thiago and Christian Früchtl have stayed in Munich to continue their recovery programmes.

First training this evening

One player who was on board was new signing Sandro Wagner, who got the chance to meet fans for the first time since his return. “He’s a player who’s progressed very well in recent years and become an international. I think he can help us,” commented Heynckes.

The squad now have a flight of five and a half hours ahead of them before their first training session shortly after arrival this evening. “We have a short amount of time to prepare for the first game of the second half of the season [against Leverkusen on 12 January]. Therefore we need to make smart use of the time so that we can pick up from where we left off,” explained Heynckes, who will be working with a squad of 25 players in Doha.

“There are always things that can be improved and that we need to adjust.” The Aspire Academy for Sports Excellence in Doha offers the best facilities for them to do that. “We were here in 2012/13 too, I remember it well. We got a lot out of it then and I hope we will do over the next five days.”