Bastian Schweinsteiger cut a lonely figure on the practice ground this Friday. The midfielder put in a two-hour shift comprising running and muscle-building exercise. The vice captain, and captain Philipp Lahm, who had a day off on Friday, didn't make the trip to China with the rest of the team, as they were focusing on fitness basics. However, Schweinsteiger and Lahm will rejoin the group on Saturday.
Jupp Heynckes has called his men in for training at 11 am. Some 27 hours earlier, at around 8 am on Friday morning, the Bayern party returned from the tour of China. The players involved were given the rest of the day off. “We've earned a quiet day today," said the head coach.
“I'm actually feeling good, but I'm still pleased we have the day off," said Manuel Neuer after touching down in Munich. The dramatic change of time zone and extreme summer climate in the Far East meant the trip was physically demanding. “The players should go home and relax. I don't think we’ll have problems with jetlag," Heynckes said.
After the brief pause for breath, the pre-season period enters its critical phase on Saturday. “This is when it starts for real," commented Franck Ribéry. Heynckes will finally take charge of his full squad, apart from injury victims David Alaba and Rafinha. The boss has four weeks to prepare his men for the new Bundesliga season.
“Once we're back, we'll be working extensively and intensively," Heynckes declared ahead of the China adventure. What that means in reality is a packed schedule with eight sessions in the seven days from Saturday onwards, and two friendly matches, the Paulaner Cup des Südens on Tuesday, and the trip to Kaiserslautern on Wednesday. A genuinely tough test follows next weekend with the LIGA total! Cup four-team tournament in Hamburg.