One week before Bayern Munich play India, coach Jupp Heynckes said the German giants go to New Delhi stronger as a team compared to this time last season.
“The team had no success last season. This time we went into the winter break as league leaders and are still in the Champions League and the German Cup. But we will have to wait until the end to judge this season,” Heynckes told HT in Doha on Tuesday.
Bayern reached Doha on Monday for a week-long training camp. They play India at the JLN Stadium on January 10.
To that end Heynckes said Bastian Schweinsteiger would play Bhaichung Bhutia’s farewell international. The Bayern and Germany midfielder had a collar-bone injury in a Champions League game against Napoli on November 2. “He was ready before Christmas but we didn’t want to take any chances as he is vital for our plans for the rest of the season,” Heynckes said.
About the India visit, Heynckes said: “It will be good for the players to see something different like Delhi but as FC Bayern coach, one has to also understand that economics is also at work here.”
In his third stint with 22-time Bundesliga champions — two of them coming when Heynckes’s helmed them for the first time — the coach said the presence of famous footballers in key administrative posts at Bayern wasnot a hindrance. “For me it is easier because I can interact with these greats as I’ve played with some of them while I also know the club well.”
EPL not that good
The Bayern coach said he used the winter break in the German season to see some games of the English Premier League and didn’t find them as good as many say the league is.
“Manchester City don’t look as strong as they did as the start of the season and other English clubs too look drained. The break in Germany is perfect because it helps the players come back refreshed.”