Cologne - Six days in the Far East and over 30 hours in the air, clocking up some 25,000 kilometres all-told: it was a demanding schedule but, returning from their pre-season tour of Japan, Singapore and Malaysia, the players and management of Borussia Dortmund were in agreement that the experience had been well worth it.
"Japan was fantastic, Singapore was tremendous and so was Malaysia. It all made a vivid impression on us. It was the right decision to go, because the people there really appreciated it," BVB CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke said in summary of the trip, adding, "It was a bravura effort on the part of the players. We asked an awful lot of them, it was an exercise in willpower as well. But the team did a great job."
With one club marketing appointment following hot on the heels of the next, the Dortmund players scarcely had a moment to themselves. New head coach Thomas Tuchel kept the regular training ticking over as well, with the first session on arrival in Japan even held at midnight. "It was extremely hard work all-round, some days we didn't have half an hour off," central defender Neven Subotic admitted, "but it was OK, because every day brought a fresh highlight: an unbelievable atmosphere at the friendlies, training in unusual places, new cities. It was a great experience, and one that brought us on as a team."