Munich - The sun was shining over FC Bayern Munich’s Säbener Straße training ground this week, but that wasn't the only reason for such a positive mood about the place.
"Very, very gifted player"
New signing Thiago Alcantara’s had his first full training session since joining the club from FC Barcelona, and the 22-year-old's debut in a Bayern bib was witnessed by close to 2,000 spectators. If that wasn't enough to satisfy the enthusiastic crowd, however, there was also the return to team training of celebrated vice-captain Bastian Schweinsteiger, back in action after injury.
Schweinsteiger was spared participation in the full session, but six weeks after undergoing surgery on his ankle, he was able to partake in most of the drills. “It was great to play with the team again and get involved in a few exercises,” said the 28-year-old to fcbayern.telekom.de. “I’m feeling really good. I still need some more security, but this was a start.”
The Germany international was just as optimistic about his new midfield colleague Thiago “He’s a very, very gifted player who has everything you need to be a true great. We’re pleased to have signed a player of his quality.”
Settling into the family
Thiago’s first day at work lasted 95 minutes, pretty much the length of time Bayern fans will be hoping to see him on the field when his former club Barcelona come to town for the Uli Hoeness Cup next Wednesday. He also took part in extra time - signing autographs for the swathes of admiring supporters.
The 22-year-old will now “have to be integrated”, according to Schweinsteiger, but that shouldn't present any obvious problems. “I think that’s going to happen really quickly.” Given the first impressions on a hot and sunny Bavarian morning, it already seems like Bayern’s latest recruit is part of the family.