After a 12-day break, Bayern Munich have resumed training again in preparation for the business half of the season with their now customary winter training camp in Qatar.
The Bundesliga leaders left Munich on Tuesday morning and arrived in Doha at around 17:30 local time after approximately a five-hour flight. Coach Jupp Heynckes has taken a squad of 25 players, featuring new recruit Sandro Wagner and a selection of promising youngsters, for the six-day visit to the Arabian Gulf.
However, Thiago Alcantara, who tore a thigh muscle at the end of November, stayed in Munich to focus on his recovery, together with goalkeeper Manuel Neuer. Mats Hummels and Robert Lewandowski sat out the first training session with adductor and knee complaints respectively.
Ron-Thorben Hoffmann (18), Lukas Mai (17), Niklas Dorsch, Marco Friedl and Felix Götze (all 19) will train with Heynckes' charges, on the other hand, as the record champions prepare for what they hope will be a packed schedule of fixtures right through to the end of May.
"It wasn't a long break," Heynckes told the club's official website. "But we could have a rest and I hope we've all been able to recharge the batteries. We don't have much time to prepare for our first game of the second half of the season in Leverkusen, so we'll have to use our time wisely.
"There are always things you can improve on," the 72-year-old tactician continued. "We were here [at the Aspire Academy] in 2012/13 and I have very good memories of that time, we were able to work very well. I hope we're able to do so again over the next five days."
Watch: Bayern's season so far
The familiar Aspire Academy for Sports Excellence is the venue for the eighth year in a row as Bayern return to trusted surroundings to step up their bid for a sixth straight Bundesliga title, and glory in the DFB Cup and UEFA Champions League.
Heynckes will take a closer look at his team in a friendly against Al-Ahli on 6 January – five days before the Bundesliga resumes with a trip to Bayer Leverkusen (12 January, kick-off 20:30CET/19:30GMT), where the league leaders can go 14 points clear with a win.