FC Bayern World Squad excited for next tasks after Rio return
Nine days in Rio de Janeiro, 10 training sessions and two challenging matches - all of that made for a one-off experience for the young talents in the FC Bayern World Squad. With the trip to Brazil's footballing capital, the first stage of their journey is over for the international Bayern squad. It soon continues, though, with the next highlight coming soon.
Growing together through experience
After an intense week and a half together, it was hard to say goodbye for the members of the World Squad. New friendships have emerged, while other players who were involved in the first edition of the project enjoyed a reunion. The team has grown together, not just through the training sessions and games on the pitch but also through team-building events such as karaoke, a barbecue, a visit to the world-famous Maracana Stadium and a sightseeing tour around Rio. The most valuable experiences on the pitch were the two matches against two local, established clubs, who sent out older age-group teams. Having lost 3-1 to the Vasco da Gama U20s after just one session together, the World Squad ground out a 0-0 draw in the next one against Flamengo U20.
"The trip to Rio was a success on both fronts - both on the pitch as well as off it. Despite their differing backgrounds from 17 countries, our players grew into a real unit. Particularly in the game against Flamengo, they showed that they're linking up very well on the pitch," summarised a pleased coach Christopher Loch. Bayern legend Zé Roberto, who assisted Loch in Rio in the absence of Klaus Augenthaler, also gave a positive review: "A transformative experience, that's how I would sum up everything we lived during these days together with the entire FC Bayern World Squad Team. I've never lived anything like it in my entire football career."
Difficult decisions for coaching staff
Despite the many positives, the coaches had to communicate some difficult decisions to the team members before their journey back to their respective homelands. Striker Shubho Paul and midfielder Zecheng Pan were not able to earn a place in the FC Bayern World Squad for Germany, while Vitinho Gomes beat off Brazilian compatriots João da Silva Barbosa and Paulo Henrique Durço Pilegis to remain in the team. "We thank all the players who won't be making the trip to Munich with us and wish them all good health and success for their sporting career, so that they can continue to pursue and realise their dream," said Loch.
With a reduced squad but big ambitions, the squad embark on a tour of Germany from 6 July - under the supervision of World Cup winner Augenthaler. The team will be making various stops before landing in the Bavarian capital, where they'll prepare for the highlight of the World Squad journey: the meeting with the German record champions' U19 side as part of the Allianz FC Bayern Team Presentation on 16 July at the Allianz Arena. "We're really looking forward to seeing the boys again in Munich in order to take the next steps and stand firm and deliver a good game against our U19s," added Loch.
Zé Roberto expects strong performance
Zé Roberto will remain with the young talents for a few days for the second part of their journey. The 47-year-old Brazilian is sure that the newly formed team will impress at the Allianz Arena, too: "Based on what I followed during this period in Rio de Janeiro, I'm sure this group will play a great game against FC Bayern U19." The FC Bayern World Squad have a one-off chance to prove to football fans in Germany how a team can develop in such a short space of time.
Click here for tickets for the Allianz FC Bayern Team Presentation.
FC Bayern World Squad documentary in autumn
Fans will again be able to follow the young players' complete journey, from training to the selection process to the game against the FC Bayern youngsters, in an exclusive, eight-part series. The documentary will be broadcast in autumn on the FC Bayern YouTube channel and website, as well as selected international media.
The young talents ended their Brazil trip with a draw against Flamengo U20: