Bayern head to Doha training camp with 26-man squad
Off we go again! The FC Bayern players had just under two weeks to relax and take advantage of the short winter break before heading for the mid-season training camp in Doha on Saturday. For the tenth time in total, the record champions will prepare for part two of the Bundesliga campaign in the Emirates, laying the foundations for a successful second half of the season.
Bayern coach Hansi Flick has just six days on the spacious grounds of the Aspire Academy for Sports Excellence in Doha to ensure his squad achieves the "optimal level of fitness required for three competitions." It'll be the first-ever trip to Doha for the 54-year-old, who promised "an intensive, tough training camp."
In between matches it's often "not possible to train very much" so the focus is more on "a few things that are important for the next game". A period of preparation is therefore "enormously important for a team because you can work better on particular moves," emphasised Flick before his first training camp as the boss.
With a total of 26 players, Flick and his coaching staff will be working in Doha until 10 January. However, four players from the pro squad will not be making the trip to the country that will host the 2022 World Cup: In addition to long-term absentee Niklas Süle (torn cruciate ligament), Javi Martínez (muscle injury), Robert Lewandowski (groin surgery) and Kingsley Coman (torn capsule in the left knee) are also out of action.
Following ankle surgery, World Cup winner Lucas Hernández will continue to work on his comeback in Doha and he's already penned-in to complete parts of the team training. Michaël Cuisance and Fiete Arp will are also back after recovering from their injuries. The training squad is complemented by six young talents: Joshua Zirkzee, Sarpreet Singh, Leon Dajaku, Oliver Batista-Meier and Chris Richards from the reserves and U-19 defender Bright Akwo Arrey-Mbi.