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Awards for Bayern Munich’s Asian Tour

Despite losing three out of four, there were some positive performances worth mentioning

ICC Singapore - Bayern v FC Internazionale Photo by Suhaimi Abdullah/Getty Images for ICC

Bayern Munich’s two-week, four-game tour of Asia as part of the International Champions Cup came to a close Thursday. Die Roten not only squared off with some top-level competition (Arsenal, AC Milan, Chelsea, Inter Milan) but they also fought the elements seemingly at every turn in their games in China and Singapore. Bayern’s games against Arsenal and AC Milan saw temperatures reach 100 F (37.8 C) and 91 F (32.8 C) with considerable humidity.

Despite only managing one victory, Bayern returns to Germany for two more preseason matches in the Audi Cup before shifting their focus to a DFL-Supercup match against Borussia Dortmund on August 5.

The end of the Asian tour can only mean one thing: post-tour awards!

Jersey Swap: Inter Milan’s Ivan Perisic.

Despite getting testy with Rafinha, the Croatian winger’s performance was definitely worth noting. The 28-year-old showed plenty of skill on the ball with nimble dribbling and quick cutbacks, and he provided an unbelievable assist on Eder’s second goal. Perisic was running full speed onto a through ball and managed to perfectly hit a pass that allowed Eder plenty of room to head the ball into the back of the net. The former Wolfsburg man also nearly extended Inter’s lead to three goals early in the second half but just missed on a tough-angle shot.

Tip of the Cap: Tom Starke.

After announcing his retirement back in Mid-May, the 36-year-old keeper was called upon by Carlo Ancelotti to play during this tour due to injuries to Manuel Neuer and Sven Ulreich. Starke ended up starting against and Arsenal and logged just over 90 minutes during the team’s four-game spell. Coming back to help out the team in a pinch was a classy move by Starke and he did well by himself in Asia, conceding just one goal.

Golf Clap: Rafinha.

Rafinha’s outstanding performance against Chelsea was enough for him to be named as one of the stars of the tour. The 31-year-old scored the opener against the reigning Premier League champions as he uncorked a fantastic long-range effort after a period of sustained possession. Rafinha also played a sound defensive game and linked up perfectly with the likes of James Rodriguez and Kingsley Coman. Joshua Kimmich is poised to be the team’s starting right back this season, but Rafinha’s stellar passing and play on this tour could cause Carlo Ancelotti to reconsider putting Kimmich’s name in pen on each starting eleven this year.

Standing Ovation: Thomas Muller.

Robert Lewandowski had a rather quiet run of games in Asia but luckily for the club, Muller was able to pick up the slack and put in a fantastic shift in the first half against Chelsea. The 27-year-old scored the team’s second goal off a great heads-up play where he drifted into space and hit a fantastic one-touch shot past Thibaut Courtois. Muller doubled his scoring total just before the half-hour mark when he found himself unmarked about 10 yards away from the box. He took his time and hit a calculated curling shot that Courtois had no shot at stopping. Scoring two out of the team’s three goals on the tour was more than enough for Muller to earn our standing ovation.

Meister of the Tour: Franck Ribery.

Three years removed from a trio of 10-goal seasons, it was exciting to see Franck Ribery in such fantastic form once again. The Frenchman gashed the Chelsea defense on a regular basis and continued to get into dangerous areas and play clever passes. Ribery’s assist on Muller’s first goal was sublime as he performed a quick step-over move and chipped the ball to into a perfect position after Courtois came off of his line. The 34-year-old also kept his momentum rolling against Inter, where he nearly scored in the opening 10 minutes after a crafty stop-and-go run in the box.

Despite a scary moment that required him being carried to the locker room after a leg injury, it appears as though he only suffered a minor cut to his ankle and a swollen ankle. Ribery should be back with the team after resting the injury for three or four days, which is encouraging given how good he was in the past two games.

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