Sunday 19 November 2017

Bayern stars enjoy first taste of Guardiola's tiki-taka

Guardiola: First Bayern session
Guardiola: First Bayern session

An estimated 8,000 Bayern Munich fans greeted new coach Pep Guardiola with cheers and applause when he took charge of his first training session at the club.

Such was the interest in seeing the 42-year-old Spaniard in action, that Bayern has taken the unusual step of holding open training sessions for the first two days at their 69,000-seater stadium.

Guardiola smiled at the warm reception, exchanged pleasantries with his staff, and quickly got to work, leading simple one-touch passing routines in line with the former Barcelona manager's tiki-taka style.

"We did a lot with the ball. It was fun," said Bayern attacking midfielder Thomas Mueller.

Guardiola had most of his new squad available, including the German national team members, but excluding Brazilians Dante and Luiz Gustavo as well as Spain's Javi Martinez who are at the Confederations Cup.

Bastian Schweinsteiger, who was supposed to take part in light training exercises following an operation on his foot, could only watch from the sidelines.

But midfielder Toni Kroos returned to training for the first time since tearing adductor muscles in his thigh.

Mario Gomez trained despite reports linking the Germany striker with a switch to Italian side Fiorentina. Gomez's contract runs to 2016, but the 27-year-old is reportedly unhappy with his role as a substitute, and Bayern have made no secret of their intention to sign Robert Lewandowski from Dortmund.

Irish Independent

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