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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Jul, 30, 2006

Bayern arrive in Japan for lucrative friendly

URAWA, Japan, July 30 (Reuters) - German champions Bayern Munich arrived in Japan on Sunday to begin their pre-season with a lucrative friendly against Urawa Reds.

Around 300 fans turned up to greet the Bayern players upon their arrival following a 13-hour flight before Monday's match with J-League side Urawa in Saitama.

Many of the Bayern side played at the World Cup, including new signing Lukas Podolski, whose goals helped hosts Germany to reach the semi-finals.

'We've just had two and a half weeks on holiday so conditioning-wise we've still got some way to go,' the former Cologne striker told reporters.

'It won't be an easy game under the circumstances but we've come here to win it obviously.'

Midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger acknowledged Bayern were still a little rusty after their lay-off.

'As you saw in practice today some of the shots were flying all over the place,' he smiled.

'What we did at the World Cup is in the past. We need to get back to maximum strength quickly.'

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