Salihamidzic: Will be an interesting game against Leipzig

Read article contents
Increase size

With their training camp in Doha complete, Bayern’s preparations for the resumption of the 2022/23 campaign are heading into the final stretch. Board member for sport Hasan Salihamidzic spoke ahead of kick-off in Friday’s friendly against Red Bull Salzburg about how much he’s looking forward to the Bundesliga’s return when FCB go to RB Leipzig on 20 January.

Talking with FC Bayern TV, the 46-year-old also discussed the training camp, youth players, new signing Daley Blind, and Sadio Mane’s recovery.

Interview with Hasan Salihamidzic:

The training camp in Doha is done. You were closely following the work done out there. What’s your summary of things?

“We worked very well in excellent conditions and used the time well. The weather wasn’t too hot. We obviously did lots of work in terms of fitness and tactics.”

There were five youth players involved with Arijon Ibrahimovic, Ritzy Hülsmann, Tarek Buchmann, Yusuf Kabadayi and Lovro Zvonarek. What was your impression of them?

“They did really well and showed what they can do. We as FC Bayern are proud to have boys like them in our ranks.”

There are also some long-term injury absentees in the squad, including Sadio Mane. What’s the status with him?

“His rehabilitation is going very well, but it’ll still take some time. We won’t rush anything with him and will continue to support him for an optimal recovery process. He needs to let his injury heal, and we‘ll give him the time he needs for that. We’re taking things one week at a time.”

Matthijs de Ligt, Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting and Leon Goretzka missed the friendly against Salzburg. Do Bayern fans need to be worried?

“No, that was purely about managing workloads. It’s just little things with them. They’ll return to full training in the next days.”

Bayern have a new signing with Daley Blind. What’s your impression of him after the first few sessions?

“Honestly, it’s like he’s been playing with us for a long time. He’s fit in very well. He brings a lot of experience and game intelligence. You always need players like him.”

There are still discussions about signing another goalkeeper. What can you say on the subject?

“We’re continuing to look and see what’s possible and what options there are in this currently difficult transfer market. We’ll make the right decision at some point.”

The first competitive fixture of the year is away at RB Leipzig on 20 January. Is this match already a defining one in the title race?

“Definitely. We know how good Leipzig are. They’re one of the best teams in the Bundesliga. Leipzig had some difficulties at the start of the season but have come together very well. It’ll be an interesting game, which we’ll obviously try to win.”

We spoke with Leon Goretzka during the training camp in Doha: