So how do the clubs avoid their preparations descending into chaos? Easily enough with a bit of forethought, as Borussia Dortmund’s chief fitness coach Dr. Andreas Schlumberger told bvb.de.
The Bundesliga runners-up are scheduled to begin their pre-season training on 5 July, but in the meantime the club has equipped each player with an individually-tailored programme. As to the intensity of said plans, Dortmund divided up their senior squad into four distinct groups.
The first band of players includes those who will participate in the World Cup, such as and newcomer ; the second group is for players who will feature in international friendlies in June, but whose countries did not qualify for the tournament in Brazil, such as ; the third group is for the few non-internationals in the squad, such as and Jonas Hofmann, while the final set is made up of players returning from injury, including and .
Subotic in LA
“With injured players especially, the treatment depends entirely on the individual and their levels of fitness,” said Schlumberger. For example, following surgery on his cruciate ligament Subotic spent two weeks undergoing a specialised regime in Los Angeles, while Jakub Blaszczykowski will be almost exclusively staying in Dortmund over the summer to continue his recovery. Indeed, so detailed are the plans to accommodate the convalescing members of the squad that the club’s physios have had to reorganise their own holiday plans.
Meanwhile, the group including captain Kehl are under strict orders to put their feet up for a fortnight to allow their bodies to rest, before starting up again with running, as well as strength and core stability exercises. “Everyone has been given an individually-tailored programme,” Schlumberger continued. “But the really intensive training sessions won’t start again until pre-season training proper.”
Striking a balance
Up to nine Dortmund players will be strutting their stuff at the World Cup in Brazil and each of them will be given approximately three weeks holiday after their nation’s exit from the tournament. Once back in Dortmund, they will train individually while gradually building up their fitness to match that of the bulk of the squad.
Yet according to Schlumberger the trickiest group to co-ordinate is that of the players who have a two week break after the conclusion of the Bundesliga season before reporting for international friendlies in June, but who won’t be playing in Brazil, such as Poland’s Lukasz Piszczek: “On the one hand we need to keep up the intensity but on the other they desperately need to rest.”
In light of the success Dortmund have enjoyed in recent years, however, you can be sure they will be ready to go once the Bundesliga gets going again on 22 August.
Vote for your Bundesliga World Cup Dream Team candidates here and check out the nominees' credentials on the Bundesliga's official YouTube channel: