FCB internationals warming up for Russia
Before club football enters the home straight of the season and titles are handed out, there’s a brief respite. 13 Bayern players will on their travels with their national teams over the coming days, with the majority focussing specifically on the big event of the year: the 2018 World Cup in Russia (14 June to 15 July). As all of Bayern’s internationals are staying within Europe, the travel stress will be limited this time. fcbayern.com summarises where they’ll be in action.
Hummels looking forward to Spain
The biggest contingent is once again from Germany, with coach Joachim Löw selecting seven FCB stars in his squad: Jérôme Boateng, Mats Hummels, Joshua Kimmich, Thomas Müller, Sebastian Rudy, Niklas Süle and Sandro Wagner. They have two really tough tests for their first internationals of the year. On Friday 23 March ‘die Mannschaft’ are in Düsseldorf to play Spain, for whom Thiago is in the squad (20:45 kick-off*). Then on Tuesday 27 March they face record World Cup winners Brazil in Berlin (20:45). “They’ll be very good games and very good tests. I’ve never played against Spain in my career so I’m looking forward to it a lot,” commented Hummels. Thiago and his Spanish colleagues also play their second friendly on Tuesday in Madrid against Argentina (21:30).
There could be another Bayern clash on Friday 23 March when Corentin Tolisso’s France take on James Rodríguez's Colombia in Paris (21:00). The French will then embark on an early trip to Russia where they’ll play the World Cup hosts in Saint Petersburg on Tuesday (17:50). A few hours later, Colombia play fellow World Cup participants Australia in London (21:00).
New starts for Vidal and Alaba
Robert Lewandowski and the Poland team will also be testing themselves against two World Cup competitors over the coming days, first with a friendly against Nigeria on 23 March in Wroclaw (20:45) before South Korea visit Chorzow on 27 March (20:45).
For Chile’s Arturo Vidal and Austria’s David Alaba, there are sadly no World Cup warm-up games on the agenda. For them, the international break is more about assessing their failed qualification campaigns and getting into good shape for upcoming competitions. The Austrians will be doing that with a friendly against Slovenia in Klagenfurt on March 23 (20:45) and a trip to Luxembourg four days later (20:30). The South Americans will be testing themselves against Sweden in Solna on Saturday (18:00) and against Denmark in Aalborg the following Tuesday (20:00).
*all kick-off times CET