Bayern Munich have returned to training intent on righting the wrongs of the 2010/11 Bundesliga season.The Bavarian club have kicked off preparations for the 2011/12 campaign with a training camp in Riva del Garda in Italy.
Scraping into third and a subsequent Champions League spot – 10 points behind champions Borussia Dortmund – did not reach Bayern’s expectations, with the club sacking manager Louis van Gaal in March.
Jupp Heyckes has replaced the Dutchman at the helm after leading Bayer Leverkusen to second on the Bundesliga table in the 2010/11 campaign.
In his third stint as manager of the club, Heynckes has liked what he has seen so far: “I am delighted how motivated the players are and that they train good,” he said.
“The players act very professional even in the hotel. The atmosphere is very relaxed but concentrated.”
“As I said, we have a highly qualified squad. We have world-class players. When me and my assistants work well with this talented team, then we will have success, Because quality work added with quality in the squad will lead to a good result.”
Heynckes inherits a much-changed squad, with veteran striker Miroslav Klose (Lazio) and Turkish midfielder Hamit Altintop (Real Madrid) leading the list of departures.
The club has been strengthened with the arrival of Germany shot-stopper Manuel Neuer from Schalke, while Brazilian right-back Rafinha has been signed from Serie A club Genoa and promising striker Nils Petersen moves from Energie Cottbus.
Bayern’s refreshed squad has been a source of optimism, according to striker Mario Gomez.
“I am convinced that we will be successful and win titles,” he said.
“In the training we have a great mood, there is a lot of aggression, we are asking to run. You see every player is motivated. The pre-conditions are great.”
“The players we have are very good, no question. But the club is looking for the best we can achieve. When we go for it, we are all glad and getting new quality.”
“The task of the entire team is it to be compact. We had the best team last year but missed the title. We have to score so many goals as last year, but defend better, avoid more goals. So when we play compact as a team we will be successful.”