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Grateful Ismaël relishing new challenge

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Grateful Ismaël relishing new challenge

Postby FCBayernNews » Thu Dec 06, 2007 11:05 pm

06.12.2007

With the benefit of hindsight, the omens at the start of Valérien Ismaël’s spell with Bayern were a trifle gloomy. His first training session after moving from Bremen to Munich in summer 2005 was accompanied by a torrential downpour, and he was sent off in his first Bundesliga appearance for the men in red. The 32-year-old is now set to join Hannover 96 on January 1, but confessed to “a feeling of sadness” on Thursday, as he will no longer accomplish his self-proclaimed mission with Bayern.

“I wanted to give the club something in return for what it did for me,” explained the centre-half, effectively sidelined for the last 18 months after a complex leg break. Condemned to a second-string role in Bavaria, he will now attempt a new start in Hanover. “The club has done everything it could to complete the transfer, and I’ll always be grateful for that,” Ismaël declared.

<b>Double winner in 2006</b>

The likeable Frenchman insisted he would be leaving with “happy memories“ of his two-and-a-half years in Munich. “It all went very well for me in my first season. We won the Double,” he recalls, “but I’ve been very unlucky since then.“

Ismaël’s trials began in May 2006, when a routine operation to remove a benign tumour from his left shin uncovered a hairline fracture of the tibia. That was repaired and he resumed training in August, but promptly fractured both his tibia and fibia. Further corrective surgery took place in April 2007, with an operation on his knee in October.

<b>New goals in Hanover</b>

“I’ve had fantastic support from the club throughout my long period in rehab training,” Ismaël observed. Finally declaring himself fit at the end of October, he completed two matches for Bayern’s third division reserves, although his most recent competitive appearance for the first team, a two-minute cameo against Leverkusen in the Bundesliga, came eight months ago on 15 April 2007. Fully 19 months have passed since he last completed 90 minutes for Bayern, at home to Dortmund on 13 May 2006.

The 32-year-old is now looking for regular Bundesliga football. “Hannover is the right move. I was determined to stay in the Bundesliga,” he explained. “I have a good feeling about the club. I really enjoyed my talks with the coach, the manager and the president. Hannover have begun a project, and I’d like to help the club realise its project.“ Ismaël is hoping to help ’96 earn a place in the UEFA Cup.

<b>Mentally strong again</b>

Cries of “Hanover,” “UEFA Cup“ and “Intertoto“ followed the defender around the training ground on Thursday after the transfer was officially announced. Jan Schlaudraff, Lukas Podolski and Co were joshing of course, but Ismael knows the Bayern men are delighted for him. “My team-mates understand my decision and support it,” he said. “It’s a great move for Valle,” Mark van Bommel confirmed.

The remaining training sessions before the mid-season break would be “a little more enjoyable,” Ismaël commented. “I’m delighted it’s all sorted and I’m free to focus on the new challenge. I’m mentally strong again, I know what my future looks like, and I’m looking forward to a new start.“.
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Postby fanOfBayern » Thu Dec 06, 2007 11:33 pm

adios Ismael...

I wish him well at Hannover. He was not great for us. But, he was not bad either.
I think injuries ruined what could have been a great time for both him and Bayern.
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