It was, is and continues to be a wet summer in Munich, one of the reasons the FCB stars have headed south to train in the Italian sunshine. But no sooner had the squad checked in to their luxury hotel on the north shores of Lake Garda, a thundery shower dropped plentiful rain on Riva del Garda. Hopefully it was just one of those things up in the mountains, perhaps a friendly gesture of welcome to help the visitors from over the Alps acclimatise. And indeed, by the time of the opening training session, the sun was shining again.
In any case, the weather hardly matters to Bayern during their stay in the Trentino region. The players are here to graft, building up fitness and power for the forthcoming season, and starting out on tactical and technical fine tuning. The programme began on Sunday evening in the stadium in the town of Arco, 10 minutes drive from the team hotel, where some 1,000 Munich fans were waiting to give their heroes a warm welcome.
The temperature literally and metaphorically rose quickly after that, as head coach Jupp Heynckes had his men practice passing and possession play, before finishing up with a 11-a-side match. The group comprised all 23 players who travelled to northern Italy earlier in the day, including newcomer Mario Mandzukic in his first workout at the club, Euro 2012 contenders Arjen Robben and Anatoliy Tymoshchuk, and Claudio Pizarro.
The Peruvian, training with his team–makes for the first time since returning to FCB after finally shaking off an old injury, is making good progress in his sport rehab program, although he is not up to full fitness yet. “I hope it’ll continue to improve over the next few days," he commented.
Heynckes, just as committed and motivated as his players, kept the session going for a total of 100 minutes. The players then busily signed autographs to round off a successful start to the labour-intensive spell in picturesque Trentino. And from now on, the weather should also start to behave, as the forecast is for uninterrupted sun-drenched days.