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Van Buyten: I love this football club

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Van Buyten: I love this football club

Postby FCBayernNews » Tue Jan 09, 2007 10:00 pm


Daniel van Buyten, nicknamed The Rock for his 6 ft 5 inch frame and ultra-solid defensive displays, arrived at Bayern last summer, immediately establishing himself as one of the club's most consistent performers. The Belgian was the only ever-present in all 26 matches so far this term.

The 28-year-old found time between training sessions to sit down and talk with <b></b>, looking back on his first six months in Munich, and revealing a long-term love affair.

<b>Interview: Daniel van Buyten</b>

<b></b> Daniel, how are you enjoying Dubai?

<b><i>Van Buyten:</i></b> "It's my first time here, I'm feeling good and it's a fine country. But we're here for a training camp. We have a wonderful hotel, good pitches and great weather. What really matters is that we leave here knowing we've worked hard."

<b></b> Your father was a professional sportsman, so do you find fitness training easier than the others?

<b><i>Van Buyten:</i></b> "I don't mind training hard. I know you only build up strength for matches with this kind of training routine. It's better to suffer now than when we go back to playing. You enjoy games more if you've done a decent winter training programme."

<b></b> Are you training more eagerly because you know Real Madrid lie in wait?

<b><i>Van Buyten:</i></b> "We're all aware of that, but at the moment we're only thinking about the winter programme. This is where we have to get fit for the big games like Real, so that's where you have to be mentally, and not already thinking about Real."

<b></b> How would you assess your first six months in Munich?

<b><i>Van Buyten:</i></b> "Personally, I'm very satisfied. I've played every game for a leading club, where the competition is more fierce than elsewhere. In terms of results, we've lost a couple of games I'd rather have won. I hope we produce more consistent results from now on."

<b></b> Are you happy you moved to Munich?

<b><i>Van Buyten:</i></b> "I always knew it was the right move for me. When the club came calling, I immediately said I'd like to go. The most important thing to me is feeling settled at a club, and I was convinced I'd settle at Bayern. Bayern is simply the football club I love the most. I like its structures, the history and everything here. Even when I was a boy, I dreamed of playing for Bayern. I feel like I've come home."

<b></b> You quickly became a senior dressing room figure after you arrived. Do you think you were brought here to be a leader as well as a defender?

<b><i>Van Buyten:</i></b> "Yes, I think the club needed leadership qualities, and I was being asked to supply those qualities. If things aren't working out on the pitch, someone has to get after the team, and I'm prepared to say what I think. It's what I did in Hamburg and Marseilles. It worked positively there, so I decided to keep doing it. We have plenty of young players, but they can take criticism. All the players are extremely professional."

<b></b> You've been quoted as saying Bayern were not consistent enough in the first half of the season. Why will it be different from now on?

<b><i>Van Buyten:</i></b> "First, by preparing well in the winter break, and having our injured players return to make it more competitive. Second, we know what didn't go so well. We sometimes lost matches because we kept pushing forward and then got caught upfield. We have to remember to get back immediately after joining in attacks. Defenders have to hold their positions, and you can always send someone else forward instead. We've talked it all through, and it did get a bit better. But we still have to work on the things you have to do automatically."

<b></b> Are you looking forward to meeting your former club Olympique Marseille in the Dubai Cup third-place play-off?

<b><i>Van Buyten:</i></b> "It will be my first match against them since I left. I had a couple of good seasons there. Many players have left, but I'll definitely know one or two. I'm still in touch with the club occasionally, although I've not talked to anyone since we got here."

<b></b> Hamburg, another of your former clubs, are also training in Dubai. Are you planning a visit?

<b><i>Van Buyten:</i></b> "Even if I had time, I wouldn't do it. We're here to work. We have to use the break between sessions for regeneration. Hamburg need to prepare well, and we have to prepare well. In any case, we have a warm-up match in Hamburg at the end of the month, and we'll see each other then."
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