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Local boy Ottl rises to the occasion

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Local boy Ottl rises to the occasion

Postby FCBayernNews » Thu Sep 28, 2006 7:15 pm

28.09.2006

Any 21-year-old nourishes dreams. For example, before the present campaign, Andreas Ottl dreamed of making the Bayern matchday squad as often as possible, and playing "a couple of times more" than his eight appearances last term.

Only last weekend, the youngster was dreaming of getting on the pitch at some point in Bayern's Champions League visit to Milan: "That would certainly be the highlight of my short career to date," he observed. Following a gala display on Wednesday, it does appear that this is the year when Andreas's dreams come true.

Ottl has started four of the champions' first five Bundesliga fixtures, and was part of the first eleven for his Champions League debut against Internazionale. From then on the midfielder stole the show. The authoritative <i>kicker</i> magazine named the Munich local boy man of the match, and Felix Magath praised him to the skies afterwards. "For someone of his age, it was an extraordinary display," the coach enthused.

<b>Enforcer and general</b>

Playing alongside Mark van Bommel in central midfield, Ottl shone both in disrupting Inter's efforts at fluency and providing impetus for his own side. "He's shown us he's a huge talent and a real contender," Karl-Heinz Rummenigge commented. "His composure in front of the back four was astounding," added Franz Beckenbauer.

In one sense, the Bayern youth product received his greatest accolade during the match with the substitution of direct opponent Luis Figo after 67 minutes. The Champions League newcomer clinically neutralised the former world player of the year, who was contesting his 131st European fixture. Crisp in the tackle and showing magnificent vision, Ottl won possession for his side on countless occasions, refusing to allow his opponents any time on the ball.

<b>Still realistic</b>

"He's demonstrated today that he genuinely has the aggression you need to fill the position at this level," Magath commented afterwards. The head coach was even more impressed at the way the 21-year-old "fundamentally directed the play for us. He did the fetching and carrying, he switched the play from flank to flank, and he found plenty of space. He was really excellent today."

The youngster himself was modesty personified. "I'm just delighted I got the chance to play in this wonderful stadium against such a great team," he declared, as cool and collected off the pitch as he was on it, evidenced by his reaction to a unanimous chorus of praise afterwards: "Things change quickly in football, so I don't want to get above myself," he remarked.

<b>The dream continues</b>

A stellar performance on and off the field means Ottl can realistically dream of a regular starting berth. "If he can keep it up consistently, he has an excellent chance of growing into a regular," Magath confirmed. Ottl still refused to get carried away. "I'm simply going to try and put myself forward. That's my goal," he insisted - although he is perfectly entitled to carry on dreaming.
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