On the second day of the Trentino training camp, Xherdan Shaqiri passed on his early impressions to reporters. “Here in Trentino we're mainly discussing tactical aspects," the Swiss midfielder said. That was at midday, but not three hours later, tactics were no longer on the Bayern agenda, because athletics took centre stage in the afternoon session. The ball as such was hardly to be seen.
After a warm-up and exercises with elastic ropes, designed to improve the players’ quality of movement, the squad was split into a number of groups. Supervised by fitness coaches Thomas Wilhelmi, Andreas Kornmayer and Marcelo Martins, the stars soon began pouring sweat. The most punishing work was put in by stamina-building trio Daniel van Buyten, Rafinha and Shaqiri, who performed increasingly fast interval sprints, and were soon pushing at their early-season limits.
On an adjacent pitch, a second group worked on coordination and fluid movement. Luiz Gustavo, Dante, Anatoliy Tymoshchuk, David Alaba and Mario Mandzukic slalomed through poles, sprinted, and made rapid changes of direction. The third group focused on stamina basics, as Claudio Pizarro, Arjen Robben and Diego Contento ceaselessly lapped the training facility.
Group number four comprised the reserves and junior players who are at the training camp to gain experience. Apart from the elastic rope exercise, they were spared the athletic program. Supervised by assistant coaches Peter Hermann and Hermann Gerland, the youngsters practised passing and shooting.
Finally, the goalkeepers under specialist coach Toni Tapalovic completed a rigorous session, including saves from point-blank range. The sweat-inducing phase of the afternoon training schedule lasted around an hour, but every single player appeared focused and hard-working right to the end, despite the obvious effort and the searing summer temperatures. As Shaqiri had earlier reported: “Everyone's totally determined. You sense the players are hungry."