First batch of World Cup participants return to Säbener Straße
Welcome back! On Wednesday afternoon, Bayern's German World Cup participants -- including captain Manuel Neuer and new signing Leon Goretzka -- as well as Robert Lewandowski began their preparations for the upcoming season. While Niko Kovac was with the rest of the squad on the Audi Summer Tour in the USA, assistant coach Peter Hermann welcomed the latecomers back to Säbener Straße. After a session in the performance centre, the group went for a cycle in the Perlacher Forest.
"The players will go through the same week that the others had at the start," explained head coach Kovac from Philadelphia. Like the rest of the squad who started pre-season at the start of July, all of them "will be given the same muscular stimulation" so that they can gradually build up their training. The returnees must first complete the obligatory performance tests on Thursday and Friday morning, which will assess the fitness levels of the Bayern stars after their summer break. They'll get their first taste of the grass on Friday afternoon.
Thiago returning on Thursday, James travelling to US
Not all the Bayern players who were in action in Russia over the summer are back in Munich. While Thiago has been given an extra day off and will start his programme on Thursday, James will join up with his teammates during the course of the *Audi Summer Tour*in Miami. The Colombian will not be involved in the friendly against Manchester City, though. Newly crowned world champion Corentin Tolisso will not start training until after the Super Cup against Eintracht Frankfurt on 12 August.
With the exception of the Frenchman, the tournament did not exactly go well for the Bayern contingent, but the club's CEO, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, sees a positive in that. "There's the small but welcome advantage that they'll now have a long enough time to prepare, which they wouldn't have if they'd got to the final or semi-finals," said the 62-year-old, who's hoping for a reaction after the "glitch" in Russia. "The players must show that was an exception rather than the norm."