Doha - FC Bayern München's first full day of their winter training camp in the Middle East was a busy one indeed, with intensive training sessions, autograph signings and a press conference for head coach Pep Guardiola.
After a morning session at the Volkswagen Camp Qatar in which the players undertook exercises with and without the ball, defender
took to the training camp's show room to sign autographs and pose for photographs with the swathes of fans that had come to show the Bavarian outfit their appreciation.
Guardiola cut a contented figure as he answered questions from the assembled media, opening up his press conference with a reiteration of his desire to continue improving the team and add to the three trophies he has already won with the Reds. "Jupp [Heynckes] won the treble and we won the Bundesliga and DFB Cup last season, but I know that for some people, that's not enough. We are under pressure but that's normal, and it's good for the club. For me, the league is the most important competition, but I know how important the Champions League is for the club as well. What I want is [for my team] to play good football and keep improving."
Joining figures such as Diego Maradona and Lothar Matthäus, Guardiola also added his name to the list of those in support of Manuel Neuer, named officially by the International Football Federation of History and Statistics as the world's best goalkeeper this week, to win the FIFA Ballon d'Or 2014:
There was a brief injury scare for Tunisian defender
after the 27-year-old tweaked his back in training and had to cut short his participation. However, Guardiola is confident the injury is not serious. "I don't think it's too bad. Hopefully he can train again tomorrow." The 43-year-old also commented on the fitness of Mario Götze and Juan Bernat: