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Football | Germany

Bayern ready to continue enforcing will



Bayern Munich were set to return home on Wednesday from a week-long training camp in Qatar where a final 5-0 demolition of German rivals Schalke underlined their Bundesliga title ambitions.

"We have worked very well. We are ready for the game against Fuerth," said French winger Franck Ribery, looking ahead at the January 19 league restart against the bottom club.

Coach Jupp Heynckes agreed, saying the result "was a reflection of our time in Doha" for a week of intensive training and fine-tuning for the second half of the season.

Munich hold a nine-point lead over Bayer Leverkusen in the winter break, with champions Borussia Dortmund another three points behind. They are also in the quarter-finals of the German cup and the round of 16 in the Champions League.

Mario Mandzukic's double and a second-half effort from Mario Gomez against Schalke showed Heynckes again that he has quality forwards, with Claudio Pizarro another option.

Dutch winger Arjen Robben and midfielder Luiz Gustovo are returning from injury as Munich aim to lift trophies again after two seasons without a title.

But sports director Matthias Sammer also warned during the Doha camp was only one piece of the winter-break puzzle, with a final week of training at home starting Friday after a rest day.

"That was an important chapter, an important segment - but nothing more. It's just a small, initial step on the journey towards 19 January," Sammer said. "We still have a long way to go."

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