In Niko Kovac’s first official press conference as manager of Bayern Munich, the 46-year-old revealed that the German players who were knocked out of the World Cup early will not participate in the preseason Audi Tour in the United States after all. Bayern will play friendlies in Philadelphia and Miami where they will take on Juventus and Manchester City respectively. When they travel back to Munich, they’ll play a final friendly against Manchester United at the Allianz Arena on the 5th of August to round out their preseason list.
Unfortunately for fans in the United States, though, the core of Bayern’s first team will remain home after being given four weeks off following their World Cup exits. The German contingent includes Manuel Neuer, Joshua Kimmich, Mats Hummels, Jerome Boateng, Niklas Süle, Sebastian Rudy, Leon Goretzka, and Thomas Müller. Robert Lewandowski and Thiago Alcantara have also been knocked out with Poland and Spain, respectively. They’ll likely be given additional time off, along with Corentin Tolisso and James Rodriguez, whose national teams (France and Colombia) are still in the tournament.
Kovac, while disappointed to see Germany knocked out in the group stages, also admitted that’s he’s delighted to have the group of players back earlier than he (and everyone else, for the matter) had initially anticipated:
It’s upsetting that the German national team was knocked out. But as Bayern coach, I’m naturally a little bit happy, because now I’ll be able to have all the players a little while here. The German national players come back on July 25 – they get about four weeks off. They won’t travel with the team to America, but rather will prepare themselves here.
For Bayer’s octet of Germany players, they’ll certainly need a solid four weeks of vacation after their severely disappointing World Cup campaign. Kovac will want them to be completely refreshed and revitalized once they come back with just under a month to go until their Bundesliga opener against Hoffenheim on August 24th.