Bayern delighted to be back in training, says Alaba

BERLIN (AFP) – David Alaba said Bayern Munich are “hungry” and enjoying their return to full-team training ahead of the restart of the Bundesliga this weekend behind closed doors.

The German top flight resumes on Saturday after the season was suspended in mid-March to help slow the spread of the coronavirus.

It will be the first major European league to resume after the outbreak of the pandemic, which has so far claimed around 7,500 lives in Germany.

Bayern coach Hansi Flick has been putting his players through their paces in training sessions at the Allianz Arena.

Bayern, who were four points clear of second-placed Borussia Dortmund in their bid for an eighth straight Bundesliga title when football was halted, restart their season at Union Berlin on Sunday.

“It was really very, very nice to be back on the pitch, training as a whole team,” said Alaba.

“You could tell how much we have all looked forward to this moment. You could feel that in training, everyone was hungry – and looking forward to the first game.”

German Chancellor Angela Merkel approved the league’s plan to restart with regular testing of players and strict hygiene measures in place.

Bundesliga CEO Christian Seifert has warned clubs they are “on probation” because of fears an outbreak of the virus in the competition could again see the season suspended.

The clubs are now holding practice sessions featuring the whole squad after weeks of training in small groups.