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"Highlight of pre-season"

Bayern excited for final test at Audi Cup

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Pre-season is no walk in the park. It means running, lifting weights and getting a sweat on. The players are therefore often glad for a distraction, and what could be better than matches against high-class opponents?

“For me, the Audi Cup is one of the highlights of pre-season,” said Thomas Müller in an interview with main sponsor Audi ahead of the mini tournament at the Allianz Arena. As well as FC Bayern, the two-day event will feature Real Madrid, Tottenham Hotspur and Fenerbahce (tickets available here).

“I don’t think we need to waste words talking about such names. The Audi Cup has been providing a great line-up since 2009 and that’s why it’s so significant. Visitors can watch four top matches over two days and look forward to exciting clashes,” Müller continued. However, that is not the only reason why a visit is worth it. Prior to the games there will be a fun-filled programme of activities on offer outside the Allianz Arena.

On the pitch, fans can look forward to an almost full FCB first-team squad, with Lucas Hernández the only player unavailable. Coach Niko Kovac therefore has free choice for his team in their first match on Tuesday (20:30 CEST, live text coverage available on against 19-time Turkish champions Fenerbahce. Depending on the result, FCB will then take to the pitch again on Wednesday (at 18:00 for the third-place match or 20:30 for the final) to take on the winner/loser of the other semi-final.

For Müller, it goes without saying he wants to reach the final and of course win it. “A victory, especially in front of our own fans in a full stadium, is of great importance,” the 29-year-old stressed. That is because success is always key for confidence, and at the end of the day, the Audi Cup is “the final acid test” before the first competitive game of the season in the Supercup against Borussia Dortmund on 3 August. By then, playing matches will be back at the forefront and not just a welcome distraction.