By Sports Reporter/Doha
Aspire Zone’s outdoor football pitches witnessed an influx of local, regional and international football fans as hundreds of keen spectators showed up to watch Bayern Munich’s first open training session yesterday.
The German Bundesliga giants arrived on Tuesday night for their eighth annual winter training camp in Doha, which will run until January 7. This year’s training camp attracted Bayern Munich fans from numerous countries, including fan association members from Qatar and others who flew to Doha from Germany, the Netherlands, Poland, Algeria and Kuwait. Bayern Munich will hold their open training sessions at 11am today (Jan 4), 10:30am tomorrow (Jan 5), and 10am on Saturday (Jan 6) and Sunday (Jan 7). On Saturday evening, the team will also play a friendly match at 5pm on Pitch 05 against Qatari club Al Ahli SC. In addition to Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain, AZF’s facilities have attracted visits from many other major clubs, including the likes of Manchester United, Schalke 04, Zenit Saint Petersburg, Shanghai Greenland Shenhua FC, KAS Eupen and Cultural y Deportiva Leonesa.
injury scare for Ulreich
Meanwhile, there was a brief heart-in-mouth moment for Bayern as they began training yesterday. Goalkeeper Sven Ulreich suffered a blow to the middle finger of his right hand and had to leave the pitch early.
The diagnosis confirmed the goalkeeper only has a light sprain. His return to training is dependent on how the swelling of his finger goes down, but the team do not fear he will be out for a long period of time.
Ulreich has been standing in for the injured Manuel Neuer, who is recovering from a foot fracture but is walking without crutches again. He stayed in Bavaria along with Thiago Alcantara, who has been out with a muscle tear. Coach Jupp Heynckes also has Robert Lewandowski (knee) and Mats Hummels (adductor) in the treatment room.
Hummels was able to take part to light running exercises yesterday while Lewandowski was in the weights room.
However, the arrival of striker Sandro Wagner from Hoffenheim means there may be no need to rush Lewandowski back. Bayern, who are 11 points clear of Schalke at the top of the table, return to action on Friday, January 12, with a trip to Bayer Leverkusen.
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