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Toiling in Doha

Kimmich: This is why we're training three times a day

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The Bayern players currently have a tough programme to work through at their training camp. Monday morning saw the squad’s sixth session in less than 48 hours, in which Hansi Flick put his men through some arduous running, strength and tactical segments before an intensive small-side tournament. Yet the players embraced the variety and were glad just to be playing football again.

Early starts in Qatar

“When you start the session and already have a few kilometres on the clock, you certainly feel it in the morning,” revealed Joshua Kimmich, referring to the tempo runs that the Bayern players had been doing before breakfast in the past couple of days. The 24-year-old had never experienced that before in his time with the German record champions. “We were quite surprised when it was time for a run at 7:30,” he added with a grin.

Smiling faces: (top row left to right) Oliver Batista-Meier, Ron-Thorben Hoffmann, Thiago, Leon Dajaku along with (bottom row left to right) Alphonso Davies and Corentin Tolisso claimed first place in the internal training tournament.

On the pitch, however, the players showed no signs of fatigue. In a small-side tournament comprising four teams of six, the players fought for every ball. Matches lasted five minutes, and after all the teams had played each other twice, it was the sextet containing Thiago, Corentin Tolisso and Alphonso Davies who ran out winners.

Only in Doha is coming second celebrated

It wasn’t just the winners, but also Kimmich who had good reason to be happy. “The goals still had to be totted up and we claimed second place by one goal,” said the Germany international, explaining his celebration after the competition had finished.

Joshua Kimmich
“Right at the top is the league, as it was last year. We’re four points behind at the halfway point. That’s not good enough for us. We always want to be at the top and this season, once again, it's all about turning it around.”

“Earn respect and attack”

However, when the second half of the season gets under way later this month, Kimmich does not want to settle for second place. “We want to be German champions again,” the defensive all-rounder declared confidently. With Bayern lying four points behind leaders RB Leipzig, Kimmich is hoping they “can start to catch up again”. In order to do that, it’s important “that we play with confidence, earn a certain respect and then attack,” continued the 2017 Confederations Cup winner.

And so Kimmich and Co will continue to throw themselves into the winter training camp in Doha so that they’re best prepared for the second half of the campaign. “The start of the second half of the season will be crucial. We need to be on it – and this is why we’re training three times a day,” stated Kimmich.

Fighting for every ball: Joshua Kimmich tussles with Benjamin Pavard.

Kimmich will be a spectator for the opening game of the year, though. Having picked up his fifth yellow card of the season against Wolfsburg on Matchday 17, the Germany star must serve a one-match suspension when Bayern resume their campaign against Hertha BSC on Sunday 19 January.

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