Cologne - With just a matter of weeks remaining until Bundesliga Matchday 18 kicks off, the majority of the top-flight clubs have returned to training this week to shake off the excesses of a well-earned festive break.
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bundesliga.com brings you all the latest news and images from around Germany as the league of the world champions gears up for the Rückrunde. Don't forget to check out where your side will stage their winter training camp with our handy club-by-club overview.
Sunday 11 January
Poetry in motion...
Ein von Borussia Dortmund (@bvb09) gepostetes Video am Jan 11, 2015 at 1:39 PST
Conditions couldn't be better for Jürgen Klopp's men this morning:
Getting down to it
After arriving in La Manga, their winter resort, yesterday evening, Dortmund have a day of hard work in front of them as they prepare for the return of league football and a trip to Bayer 04 Leverkusen on Matchday 18.
Saturday 10 January
The Bundesliga and VfL Wolfsburg are mourning the passing of Belgian international
who has died after being involved in a fatal car crash on Saturday afternoon. As a result the Wolves have decided to call off today's departure to South Africa as part of their mid-season preparations for the time being.
The Leverkusen players take a well-earned ice bath after training...
Neven Subotic posted this picture of himself on the plane to Murcia. Roman Weidenfeller appears to be doing something similar in the background...
Ein von Neven Subotic (@subotic4) gepostetes Foto am Jan 10, 2015 at 4:42 PST
Goalkeeping training with Bernd Leno.
Borussia Dortmund have landed in Spain ahead of their training camp in La Manga.
Sign of things to come?
Japanese forward Musasha Suzuki, who is currently on trial at Eintracht Frankfurt, got his name on the scoresheet against Wehen Wiesbaden on Friday.
Meanwhile, in Doha...
BVB on their way
After returning to training this week, Dortmund are off to La Manga, Spain today for their nine-day training camp.
Hoffenheim have the luxury of training in the South African capital of Johannesburg for the next week or so. The Sinsheimers play friendlies against Kaizer Chiefs and FC Pretoria University FC, but before that, Kevin Volland and Co. will need to get back up to match fitness.
Ein von Kevin Volland (@vollandkevin) gepostetes Foto am Jan 10, 2015 at 3:54 PST
Schalke play their first friendly of their training camp in Qatar against Dutch champions Ajax today:
Rise and shine!
Back to work
Less than 24 hours after landing in the Qatari capital of Doha, FC Bayern took part in an early-morning training session at 8 am local time.
Friday 9 January
Bremen in Turkey
Ein von SV Werder Bremen (@werderbremen) gepostetes Video am Jan 9, 2015 at 1:27 PST
Eventful day in Belek
Day two started well for Borussia Mönchengladbach at their winter training camp in Belek, Turkey…
The players were in good spirits under the sun
… but the day was brought to a premature end when the Maxx Royal Belek Golf Resort was plunged into darkness because of a power cut later that evening...
The coaches were far from impressed, but the players were entertained
Two out of two
SV Werder Bremen played twice today, besting FC Energie Cottbus 3-2 and later coming from a goal town to beat Al-Fujaraih 3-1 in Belek - Felix Kroos with a brace in that one...
Borussia Dortmund midfielder Sven Bender has undergone successful surgery on a knee injury sustained in training on Wednesday. The 25-year-old is expected to be out of action for around four weeks.
VfL Wolfsburg midfielder Joshua Guilavogui won't be travelling with his team-mates to South Africa on Saturday because of abdominal problems, reads this tweet below…
Back of the bus
The Bayern players are certainly enjoying themselves by the looks of things…
On the mend
FC Schalke 04 defender Jan Kirchhoff will join up with his team-mates in Doha on Saturday following a lengthy spell on the sidelines with a knee injury…
Bayern touch down
The Bundesliga champions have landed in Qatar and are currently being escorted to the Hotel Grand Heritage Doha ahead of their first training session of the trip...
VfL Wolfsburg are due to arrive in Cape Town early on Sunday and will be using the hashtag #VfLamKap for the duration of their stay.
Staff at Johannesburg's Fairway Hotel were delighted to catch a glimpse of some of Hoffenheim's players earlier today...
And they're off
Bayer 04 Leverkusen are all set to join neighborly rivals 1. FC Köln in Florida as part of the Bundesliga World Tour 2015. Unsurprisingly the players are looking forward to the trip!
Calling it a day
Day 1 is done and dusted for Borussia Mönchengladbach, now for some well deserved rest and relaxation.
FC Schalke 04 suffered a setback in their preparations for the second half of the season, with news that No1 goalkeeper Ralf Fährmann has had to go to hospital to have a knee injury looked at. Fingers crossed it's nothing serious.
Social media whizz kid
Swedish international striker Branimir Hrgota seems to be enjoying himself having taken control of one element of Borussia Mönchengladbach's social media updates in Belek, Turkey.
New kid on the block
Having successfully completed his medical check following the announcement of his sixth-month loan deal, Pierre-Emile Højbjerg has taken to the training ground at FC Augsburg for the first time today.
Pierre-Emile Højbjerg is on the pitch for FCA for the first time! Lots of success and a quick settling in period!
There are worse places in the world to be recovering from the flu than the warmer climes of Doha, Qatar. Get well soon, Roman!
Bremen raring to go
SV Werder Bremen have a training session and two friendlies on the docket today. Talk about having a busy schedule!
FC Bayern were up bright and early this morning as they embarked on their mid-season tour to Qatar.
Thursday 8 January
Gladbach's first day in pictures
Raring to go
didn't last long for the Foals after taking a blow to his ankle. The 26-year-old will receive treatment in the morning and follow an individual training programme, according to this tweet…
Foals set to work
Gladbach haven't long touched down in Turkey, but they're already getting to it on the training pitches of the luxurious Maxx Royal Belek Golf Resort…
returned to team training with Borussia Dortmund today following injury. The 25-year-old, who has been out of action since November with torn ankle ligaments, was also joined by Erik Durm, while
and Sokratis Papastathopoulos engaged in some light running.
Shifting into gear
has been chatting to club website
about the Royal Blues' winter training camp in Doha: "We're happy to be training again […] It's very hot and it takes a while to get used to, but the body should adjust in two days or so […] First and foremost we have to work on our fitness. The holiday weight will definitely be gone after the camp. We have three matches in seven days when the Bundesliga starts back up again, so we need to be in top shape".
Werder Bremen have been getting to it out in Belek, Turkey, but
(muscular) was one of three players to sit out training today.
TSG 1899 Hoffenheim forward
gave the facilities at the Sinsheim club's Johannesburg base a good old fashioned thumbs-up following today's welcome workout out under the South African sun. Find out more about
's involvement in the Bundesliga World Tour 2015
Borussia Mönchengladbach are set to join SV Werder Bremen in Belek, Turkey, today, but seem to be a few players short of a full plane in the departure lounge...
Living it up
The FC Schalke 04 players have their nose to the grind in Doha, Qatar, but at least one member of their traveling party is enjoying the lavish lifestyle afforded the Royal Blues at The Aspire Academy for Sports Excellence.
Arriving in style
TSG 1899 Hoffenheim have landed safe and sound in South Africa as part of the Bundesliga World Tour 2015. Jet lag shouldn't be a problem with just a one-hour time difference, but first up for Roberto Firmino and Co. a small snack to help refuel ahead of a day of training.
Hünemeier on the hunt
SC Paderborn 07 were one of the revelations during the first half of the 2014/15 Bundesliga campaign and one man in particular who got tongues wagging for various reasons was club captain Uwe Hünemeier. Ever impassioned the 28-year-old sent out a rallying cry on Twitter this morning.
Wednesday 7 January
Unable to escape the cold
The cold weather may be behind them, but the cold virus has caught up with one FC Schalke 04 player...
A long day at the office - or on the training pitch - is nearing its conclusion for Werder Bremen, who posted this tweet from Belek as the sun started to set:
Ji back in Augsburg colours
After rejoining FC Augsburg for the second time during the winter break following a disappointing spell with Borussia Dortmund, South Korea forward Dong-Won Ji and his team-mates had lactate tests this morning to check the levels of lactic acid in their blood streams.
The Gelsenkirchen club will be spending the coming ten days in Qatar's capital Doha as they prepare for a top-four challenge in the second half of the season. Meanwhile, it appears that Saturday's opponents AFC Ajax are already very much looking forward to crossing swords with Klaas-Jan Huntelaar and Co...
Werder Bremen are at it again in their Turkey winter training camp, with the club's top scorer Franco Di Santo still training individually after damaging his knee ligaments in November.
Tuesday 6 January
Royal Blues touch down
Schalke have landed in Doha, but will Ralf Fährmann (l.) and his team-mates still be smiling come 10.30 am tomorrow?
Back to work, Dante
FC Bayern centre-back Dante has returned to Munich in time for the league leaders' mid-season training camp. Pep Guardiola and Co. are due to fly to Doha Friday.
Dortmund made more sprints than any other team in the Hinrunde, recording an average of 243 a game. Looks like they're at it again...
Ein von Borussia Dortmund (@bvb09) gepostetes Video am Jan 1, 2015 at 5:50 PST
It's straight into action for Werder upon their arrival in Turkey...
Kevin-Prince Boateng will also be hoping to get back to something like his fittest after making just seven league appearances in the first half of the season.
Max Meyer (l.) enjoyed a productive
for Schalke, but Leon Goretzka (r.) is yet to play a game this season because of injury. The Middle Eastern Sun -
, to be more specific - should hopefully aid his return to full fitness.
Down to business
Borussia Dortmund head coach Jürgen Klopp claimed his "batteries are charged" as his side began their winter training program with some fitness exercises on Tuesday. Adrian Ramos and Ciro Immobile both missed out due to a torn thigh muscle and flu respectively, while Neven Subotic and Erik Durm are still carrying slight knocks that prevented them from training. However, there was positive news on the Marco Reus front with the club confirming he could return to team training during their course of their winter training camp in La Manga.
Safe and sound
SV Werder Bremen have arrived unscathed in Turkey ahead of their eight-day training camp in Belek. Sebastian Prödl and Ludovic Obraniak are the only two first-team regulars not to have travelled with the team.
Ticket in hand
Just in case they had forgotten where they were going for their winter training camp, it appears FC Schalke 04's players have been given a handy reminder in the form of their plane tickets!
Bullish Billy Goat
The first half of the season didn't quite go to plan for 1. FC Köln striker Simon Zoller with injuries restricting the 23-year-old to just nine appearances. However, the summer signing seems to be raring to go with the Billy Goats having already kicked off their mid-season preparations earlier this week.
Zhang on the ball
VfL Wolfsburg's star-studded squad got their first look at new signing Xizhe Zhang today with the Chinese international taking to the training pitch with his team-mates for the first time. At least he'll be able to take comfort from the fact that he's not the only one wearing leg warmers.
Dortmund up and running
Struggling five-time Bundesliga champions Borussia Dortmund, meanwhile, are returning to team training today. Head coach Jürgen Klopp will be hoping to get his stars back in form before their second half of the campaign kicks off away to Bayer 04 Leverkusen on 31 January.
Schalke off to Qatar
FC Schalke 04 are another Bundesliga side heading south today as they step up their preparations for the second half of the season. The Royal Blues will be spending the coming 11 days in Qatar's capital Doha.
Ready for take-off
On Tuesday morning, Werder Bremen teamed up at the local airport as they made their way to the winter training camp in Belek, Turkey.
Monday 5 January
Practically injury free
The majority of the Gladbach squad was involved in Monday's session. Here's a clip of the Foals in action...
Gladbach all set
Borussia Mönchengladbach are also back on the training ground, posting this Vine of the squad taking to the pitch:
Remember this? At the start of the 2014/15 season we asked each Bundesliga club to participate in the Crossbar Challenge as they geared up for the forthcoming campaign. Relive some of the highlights in the video below, courtesy of the official Bundesliga YouTube channel: (Hint: Bayern weren't very good!)
Bremen's new face
Germany Under-20 playmaker Levin Öztunali (l.), meanwhile, has teamed up with his new Werder Bremen team-mates, with the Green-Whites' top scorer
(r.) also back with the northerners having returned from injury.
Kick-off in the capital
Hertha Berlin are the latest club to get their second half of the season preparations started.
Suzuki on trial
Eintracht Frankfurt, meanwhile, have revealed that Japan Under-23 attacker Musashi Suzuki has teamed up with the
Schalke getting ready
Zhang in action
After arriving back in Germany yesterday (see below), Wolfsburg's latest signing
has now taken part in his first training session with the Wolves, with the club tweeting out the first picture of him in VfL colours (r., behind
Hannover back in business
They’re dusting off the cobwebs in Hanover now too!
No let up
Stuttgart are hard at it again...
works on his comeback from injury in an individual training session:
After spending much of the break basking in the sun back in their Brazilian homeland, VfL Wolfsburg duo
were pictured well wrapped up against the wintry chill in Wolfsburg as they re-started training. What lies in store for them? You guessed it: lactate tests!
Training started in similar fashion at both
Bayer 04 Leverkusen
this morning. Here Leverkusen's
is pictured with an oxygen mask on a running machine.
"Bayer 04 have started work again in the new year. Donati and Co. are undergoing performance tests."
Lactate tests and jogging are on the menu for Frankfurt too...
The Hamburger SV squad were up bright and early on Monday morning, and the club posted several pictures on their official Twitter account. First on the agenda were lactate tests to check the levels of lactic acid in the players' blood streams.
"Don't worry Rafael, it's only a little prick,"
reads the tweet below.
Subsequently the players were put through their paces with running exercises.
"Training will involve running until the afternoon; results will be measured and training plans drawn up."
says this tweet:
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