Summary

  • Leverkusen in Florida for mid-season training camp.
  • Beat Estudiantes LP on penalties in 2017 Florida Cup.
  • Resume league campaign against Hertha on 21 January.

After almost a week of intense training in preparation for the season restart, Bayer 04 Leverkusen made the most of some time off to visit Universal Studios in Orlando on Monday.

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While Omer Toprak, Vladlen Yurchenko and Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez had to undergo a random anti-doping test on Monday morning, the whole squad was given the afternoon off after some taxing days in the Florida sun.

While some relaxed around the hotel pool and others headed off to play golf, about half the squad took up the club's offer of going to the Universal Studios theme park. Karim Bellarabi, Kevin Kampl and Hakan Calhanoglu and Co. headed to the 'Hulk' rollercoaster while Bernd Leno, Danny da Costa and others entered the 'Wizarding World of Harry Potter'.

Julian Baumgartlinger experienced a magical moment before arriving in Florida after staying behind in Austria as his wife gave birth to the couple's first child on Saturday morning. "I'm very thankful to the training staff and the whole club for letting me be there," the midfielder said after jetting across the Atlantic on Monday. "There are few things in life that are more important than football. But that's definitely one of them."

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Kai Havertz's team-mates could sit back after returning to the hotel, but he had to get to work. The 17-year-old did not need boots but books as he continues his preparations for this year's school-leaving exam. "I don't have a choice," shrugged the teenager, who made nine Hinrunde appearances.