Ready to rumble: Renato Sanches has taken up kick-boxing training in a bid to be fit for Bayern Munich next season. - © 2018 DFL
Ready to rumble: Renato Sanches has taken up kick-boxing training in a bid to be fit for Bayern Munich next season. - © 2018 DFL
bundesliga

Renato Sanches trains kick-boxing in bid for peak fitness

Renato Sanches is currently in his native Lisbon, but far from sunning himself in pre-season, the Bayern Munich youngster is working hard to be in peak fitness for the 2019/20 campaign.

Sanches has endured a testing three years at Bayern since swapping Benfica for Bavaria as a European champion with Portugal - and Golden Boy winner - in 2016.

The midfielder, now 21, spent 2017/18 on loan at Swansea City in the English Premier League with first-team opportunities at the Allianz Arena difficult to come by, but there were further shoots of promise last term, with a goal and an assist to show for his 17 first-team outings in the Bundesliga - four of them starts - under Niko Kovac.

Watch: Sanches was on target as Bayern wrapped up the title on the final day (skip to 1:02 for his goal)

"I'll try to make him feel good here," Kovac had said at the start of the season. "When someone feels good, it's much easier to perform well. He has skills that you don't see every day in the Bundesliga; that's why Bayern signed him."

Sanches also scored in the 2-0 win over former club Benfica in the UEFA Champions League last September; and now back in his native Portugal, it appears he plans to return the faith shown in him by the record champions, with kick-boxing world champion Marie Lang one of his recent sparring partners.

Eye on the prize: will Sanches get the chance to prove his form and fitness in the USA? - 2019 DFL

"I think [footballers training with us] is great!" the 32-year-old told SportBild. "In kick-boxing you train other muscle groups, which is a perfect complement to football training. You have to stay focused, you can't think about anything else. It's perfect for releasing tension."

Sanches will next get the chance to show his form and fitness in July, with Bayern heading to the USA to take on Arsenal, Real Madrid and AC Milan in the International Champions Cup.