Vacation time is over for the players (eat your heart out Premier League). FC Bayern Munich will board the plane for Qatar tomorrow, January 2nd, for their winter training camp at the Aspire Academy in Doha. This marks the eighth time in a row that the German record champions will prepare for the second part of the season in this small desert country on the Persian Gulf.
There were no real suprises on the player roster, as players like captain Manuel Neuer, midfield maestro Thiago and goalkeeper-of-the-future Christian Früchtl will stay behind in Munich to continue their rehab from long-term injuries. All other senior team members, including Arjen Robben, who is coming back from a layoff, and newly acquired prodigal son Sandro Wagner, will be on the flight on Tuesday.
As usual, the club will take along a few promising youngsters, both from the reserve and the U19 teams. Niklas Dorsch, Marco Friedl and Felix Götze, whose Regionalliga team doesn’t play again until February 23rd, are along for the ride, as are youth goalie Ron-Thorben Hoffmann and central defender Lukas Mai, who also don’t get back to competitive matches until the end of January.
Here is the complete roster:
Due to the upcoming World Cup in Russia and the resultant condensed schedule of the Bundesliga — Bayern will start the Rückrunde on January 12th against Leverkusen — this year’s camp will be somewhat abbreviated, lasting only six days, instead of the usual eight to ten. The only test game, aka friendly, will be on January 6th, against Al-Ahli SC, one of the teams in the local Qatar Stars League.