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Van Buyten fired up for return to former club

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Van Buyten fired up for return to former club

Postby FCBayernNews » Fri Nov 24, 2006 9:40 pm


Last season, Hamburg rated as one of Germany's leading teams, with a Bundesliga-best total of just 30 goals conceded. The northerners were also the only club to beat eventual champions Bayern home and away in the league. Their captain and dominant personality was Daniel van Buyten.

The situation has been turned on its head this term. Hamburg lie 17th, have yet to win at home, and Daniel van Buyten is no longer there. The Belgian colossus switched to Bayern in the summer, and returns to the AOL Arena for the first time on Saturday. "I had two very good seasons there, and I'm feeling great about going back to Hamburg," the 28-year-old declared on Friday.

<b>Happy in Munich</b>

As ever, meeting former team-mates makes the weekend fixture a special match for the centre-half, although he is hardly expecting a generous welcome at the Arena. "They cheered me for two years, but if they boo now, that's just how it is," he conceded. Hamburg is not the only club where the fans are less than forgiving towards players who opt for Bavaria.

Daniel in no way regrets making the switch. "I'm happy and delighted in Munich. I have everything you could want here, and feel very much at home." The men in red are happy to return the compliment. "There's no question about it, Daniel's made us stronger," Oliver Kahn commented admiringly.

<b>Kahn: Ideal in his position</b>

The club captain had nothing but praise for the 1.96 metre stopper. "He's been solid since the start of the season, he makes very few errors. He's technically strong, a great tackler, superb in the air. He's the ideal player in this position for us," Kahn enthused.

Van Buyten partnered Lucio at centre-back to start with, before Martin Demichelis stepped in when the Brazilian picked up an injury. "I'm very happy with Martin and feel good playing alongside him," the Belgian explained, although he diplomatically chose a neutral answer when asked whether he would prefer to continue with the Argentine even though Lucio has reported fit: "We'll line up the way the boss tells us to."

<b>Yet to score</b>

"He's just a great guy," Kahn continued. "He's settled down very quickly. I basically don't have anything negative to say about him." Perhaps the only blemish is Van Buyten's failure to find the target in a red shirt. He scored seven times for Hamburg, and has had chances this season, especially as he likes to get forward for set plays. Daniel came within a whisker of opening his account in Moscow, but saw his stoppage-time header go narrowly wide.

"I've had plenty of openings, but the keeper or the woodwork have got in the way, and now I've put it off target," the likeable player mused on Wednesday. "But sometimes it all comes together against a former club, I've seen it often enough," Kahn remarked. "It would be fantastic," van Buyten concluded.
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