Leverkusen primed for Florida Cup 2017

The winter break runs until 20 January, but that does not mean the Bundesliga stars are merely putting their feet up and relaxing.

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After a more relaxing festive period, Bundesliga clubs are now getting back into training in preparation for the final 18 games of the season, and Bayer 04 Leverkusen are following their tried and tested route to Orlando, where they will take part in the Florida Cup for the third year running.

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On Tuesday morning, Leverkusen's squad congregated for breakfast at the BayArena before setting off to Frankfurt airport, where they boarded a flight to Orlando. They will base themselves there until 12 January for nine intense days of hard work and competitive action.

"The training facilities are perfect, the distances from the hotel are short, and we don't need to give any consideration to the weather," said Leverkusen's sporting director Rudi Völler, who needed no hesitation to explain why Orlando's Omni Resort will be Leverkusen's chosen home for the third year running.

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Less than 24 hours after arriving, Die Werkself will shake off the jetlag with two training sessions, at 10am and 4pm local time. On Sunday, they will need to be in peak condition already as they begin their participation in the Florida Cup against Argentinian side Estudiantes de la Plata, before facing Brazil's Atletico Mineiro on the following Wednesday.

"These games are more than just friendly workouts," said Völler on bayer04.de. "Our opponents have been of the highest order in recent years and that's going to be the same again this time. They certainly feel like they're competitive matches."

Watch: See how Leverkusen got on at the Florida Cup 2016:

There will be some time to enjoy the Florida sun, and the local love of sport too, though. On Friday, a visit to the Orlando Magic basketball game against Houston Rockets is on the agenda, ensuring that basketball fan Stefan Kießling will get his annual fix of the popular sport.

Leverkusen will then return home with just under ten days to prepare for their return to Bundesliga action against Hertha Berlin (Sunday 22 Januar, 15:30CET/14:30GMT).