Doha - We're only 14 days into 2015, but it's already a case of business as usual for FC Bayern München.
'The rest will come'
The defending Bundesliga champions eased to a 4-1 victory over the Qatar Stars in their first outing of the calendar year - a game which also witnessed the return of defender following injury.
"I'm really happy," said the 25-year-old after making his first appearance since tearing a tendon in his left thigh against VfB Stuttgart last September. "Games are completely different to training. The space, the movement, that's what you need. I feel good. The rest will come."
Bayern were already 3-1 up by the time Badstuber replaced in the 63rd minute thanks to two goals from and another from . Substitute put the gloss on a comfortable night's work with an effort of his own in injury time.
'We're feeling good'
Pep Guardiola sent out a strong starting line-up at the Lekhwiya SC, including the likes of World Cup winners and , but Manuel Neuer and Arjen Robben stayed back at camp after returning from the FIFA Ballon d'Or ceremony in Zürich earlier in the day.
Both were named in the 2014 FIFPro XI alongside Philipp Lahm, while Neuer finished third in the race for the Ballon d'Or itself. "We're feeling good," Robben told journalists on Wednesday morning. "It was a short flight. Now it's back to training […] The conditions are great for our Rückrunde preparations […] We've got our own aims and we still have to improve."
Bayern can certainly be expected to go up a few gears as the year progresses, with Lahm (fractured ankle), and (both knee) all due to return to action at some point in the not too distant future.
"It's tough watching the others play, but I'm happy to be around them again," explained Martinez - the only one of the waylaid trio to have travelled to Doha. "[Holger Badstuber] has told me to be careful […] It depends on my knee, but I'm hoping to be back in first-team training in March."