Cologne - FC Bayern München returned from their pre-season tour of China best satisfied with a productive week's work promoting themselves and the Bundesliga in the world's most populous nation.
A penalty shootout loss to Guangzhou Evergrande Taobo FC in the last of their three scheduled games denied the German record champions the pleasure of getting to round things out by hoisting the Volkswagen Cup. That aside, however, the eight-day visit to Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou was an unqualified success in the eyes of the senior management.
"These tours are essential, because we're looking to play a leading role on the international stage as well," chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge explained at the end of the trip: "We're up against some huge clubs there and if you want to keep pace, you simply have to factor-in globalisation these days. And as far as that goes, Bayern are on the right path."