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Team player Butt thrilled by Bayern debut

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Team player Butt thrilled by Bayern debut

Postby FCBayernNews » Wed Mar 11, 2009 8:45 pm

Ref Martin Hansson whistled for a penalty, and the home crowd responded by naming the taker they wanted to see. A chant of "Butt Butt Butt Butt Butt" rang around the Allianz Arena, but Bayern keeper Hans Jörg Butt remained in his penalty area, acknowledging the fans with a friendly wave.

Miroslav Klose picked himself up from the heavy challenge by Pedro Silva which prompted the award, and safely converted from the spot to make it 6-1. Klose's seventh goal of the competition means he remains joint top of the Champions League scoring chart alongside Liverpool ace Steven Gerrard.

For Butt (roughly pronounced 'Boot' in German) a goal from the spot would have been the crowning glory of a fine evening. The experienced keeper, standing in for the rested Michael Rensing in Tuesday's European knockout tie, was beaten only by Joao Moutinho's unstoppable shot on the night, and made three excellent saves earlier in the game.

Given his astonishing track record as a penalty-scoring goalkeeper from spells with Hamburg and Leverkusen, nearly everyone in the crowd expected him to step forward for the 82nd-minute spot kick. However, Butt's thoughts were only for the team.

"I saw Lukas [Podolski] beckoning me to go forward. But Miro Klose could finish top scorer in the Champions League, and that would be good for the team. With the score as it was, he had to take the kick," the 34-year-old coolly explained afterwards.

Hoeneß delighted for Butt

The two senior players had discussed the matter that morning, Butt revealed. "You have to be pragmatic. It's important for Miro to stay up there in the scoring chart, but it matters rather less to me." Had Butt stepped up and scored, it would have been his third Champions League goal. "I'd have drawn level with Luca [Toni]," grinned the man with three Germany caps to his name.

In any case, it was a good night for Hans Jörg. "I waited a long time for this. Your debut for Bayern is massive," he said. Butt arrived in Munich last summer in the clearly defined role of number two goalkeeper. "I was over the moon for him," Uli Hoeneß said afterwards, "not least because the crowd took to him straight away. You can get frustrated when you're permanently on the bench."

Puzzlement at the end

"It is a difficult situation sometimes," Butt frankly confessed, "but I'm just delighted today." The Champions League had been one major reason for the switch to Munich, he confirmed before kick-off. The Sporting clash was his 42nd appearance in Europe's elite competition. "I'll train as usual tomorrow and prepare for the next match. I want to win trophies at Bayern, and make my contribution."

In just one aspect, Butt still has plenty to learn. The 1.90m (6 ft 3 in) man was totally unprepared for the choreographed team celebration in front of the south terrace faithful at the end. "I had no idea what to do. That was another premiere for me," he acknowledged. "It was the only time I've been left in the lurch by the team."
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