FCB begin pre-season on Monday

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The pitch? Freshly laid. The balls? New and pumped up. The bibs? Washed and clean. Everything is ready for FC Bayern's return to training on Monday at Säbener Straße. It will be 44 days since FCB's last competitive outing in the DFB Cup final defeat and the first session under new coach Niko Kovac as the record champions begin their preparations for the 2018/19 campaign.

"I'm looking forward to getting going and laying the foundations for a long season. And that involves a bit of hard graft," said goalkeeper Sven Ulreich, who was recently voted by the fans as Bayern's player of the season for 2017/18. Kovac will be able to greet around a dozen first team players for the opening session in the afternoon, including veterans Franck Ribery, Arjen Robben and Rafinha, as well as the returning Renato Sanches.

New signing Serge Gnabry, who will be officially presented in the morning alongside Kovac at the Allianz Arena, will still be taking things easy after the muscle injury he suffered at the end of last season. He'll be undertaking a personal fitness programme like Arturo Vidal after his knee operation in April.

Kovac will also have to wait to work with David Alaba. The left-back has been given an extra few days off after his appearances for Austria in June and will return to action on 11 July. Bayern's World Cup participants will also be absent for a while and return bit by bit to training during pre-season.

In the three weeks prior to the departure for the Audi Summer Tour in the USA on 23 July, Robben, Ribery & Co. will train exclusively in Munich. These sessions will, however, not be accessible to the public due to the building works currently in progress at Säbener Straße.


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