Pitch Dish

Inside Germany’s Secret Weapon – Their Training Camp Compound

Where as most teams check into a hotel and battle daily traffic to get to their training facility, the Germans just have to walk out their front door.

This is an inside look on the brilliant idea, private money, and a resort that will live on long after the Germans have left the country:

It was largely the brainchild of Christian Hirmer, a businessman who works in the Munich fashion industry, and is also a friend of Germany’s general manager, Oliver Bierhoff. Hirmer conceived a project that would combine building a sporting environment to maximise every conceivable ‘marginal gain’ with a facility that will flourish long after the World Cup is a costly memory.

With the final looming, it is hard to argue against either element of Hirmer’s bold pre-tournament claim that “the top team will have the best training camp”. The German players have also been echoing that sentiment almost daily as they have gathered momentum through the competition.

“This village has been a major factor in building up the special team spirit in the group today,” said left-back Benedikt Höwedes. Joachim Löw, who has coached Germany to the semi-finals or better in five straight tournaments, agrees. “It’s a brilliant concept – it has been a very good idea to base ourselves in a resort rather than a hotel,” he said.

What is now called Campo Bahia had never been inhabited before the German team arrived in Brazil, and the future plan is for it to open to the public as a luxury holiday village. The construction cost has been met by private investors rather than the DFB, although Bierhoff is understood to have had input into aspects of the design.

germany-pool

“The base was a very important point in the planning of the tournament for Germany,” says Lars Wallrodt, chief football writer of Die Welt. “All the players have been talking about it. The idea of living together in this way has been very good for team spirit. You have your own space but the players are always bumping into each around the resort. It’s different to a hotel where you just have a room. They all say it has been the perfect place to rest and calm down. Getting the right base was always a huge thing for Oliver Bierhoff.”

“Given the size of the country and the sometimes very large distances between individual venues, it was important to us to minimise travel stress as much as possible,” Bierhoff explained.

“Acclimatisation and recovery will play a major role at the World Cup and the resort offers ideal conditions to prepare for the early kick-off times and the expected heat and high humidity. The 2010 World Cup in South Africa showed that having short distances between the team headquarters, training area and media centre are very important.

“The squad can have their own space but at the same time it is all in a relatively small space and there is a central complex which will help promote team spirit.”

Read More: telegraph.co.uk

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