The clubs were spread far and wide across the Germanic regions. Some players were relatively lucky, having been assigned fan clubs not too far from the Bavarian capital. Captain Manuel Neuer, for instance, only had to travel as far as Baden Württemberg to Boblingen. Newcomer Philippe Coutinho and coach Hansi Flick visited clubs in Kosching and Feuchtwangen, the former only a two-and-a-half-hour drive from Munich, and the latter only a stone’s throw from neighboring Ingolstadt.
Joshua Kimmich, in contrast, went all the way to Saxony to visit ‘Lipisa United’ in his former home of Leipzig. Karl-Heinz Rummenigge went a step further and crossed the national border, paying a visit to Antiesenhofen in Austria (although, to be fair, it was still one of the locations closer to Munich).
Location evidently did not matter to the players or the fans, as the former were given a rousing welcome by the clubs they visited. It was obvious that the fans had put the disappointing but hard-fought loss to Leverkusen behind them. As Neuer put it, “the fans also watched the game and know how much effort we put in, so none of them were angry at us.” Thomas Muller, for one, was given a very prestigious escort by two lovely ladies that would most likely have resulted in a stern reprimand by Lisa back home.
In a festive mood, the team indulged in pleasurable activities with the fans. Coutinho tried his luck at Hammerschlagen, albeit with little success. According to the video that Bayern put out, however, he apparently fared much better while playing table football, i.e. foosball.
Meanwhile, Leon Goretzka and Serge Gnabry played darts with their fan clubs, most likely target-practicing for the crunch game against Borussia Mönchengladbach this coming weekend. David Alaba took to the American game and threw an American football around, while Müller stayed closer to his roots by conducting a Bavarian brass band rendition of “Stern des Sudens.” (Spoiler alert: he wasn’t very good at it.)
Thomas Müller, a conductor on and off the field! pic.twitter.com/k2Cmr4t9yo— FC Bayern US (@FCBayernUS) December 2, 2019
Whatever the activity was, both the fans and the players were in high spirits. A particularly lovely sight was Niklas Süle with a big grin on his face. “I’m a bit ahead of the healing process,” he said. “That was not expected and speaks for the good work of the surgeon.” While it may be still too soon to call for his participation in the Euros next summer, it was still encouraging to see the big man in a good mood.
All of the players, staff, and management did their best to give their respective fan clubs the best possible gift they could for the start of the holidays. Here’s hoping that they can also give the fans another gift next week with a good performance away to league leaders Gladbach!