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Daniel Van Buyten:

'Anderlecht are just running into peak form’

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Daniel van Buyten has been much in demand in the build-up to Bayern’s UEFA Cup trip to RSC Anderlecht, as countless Belgian journalists and TV crews quizzed Munich’s solitary Belgian player about his current club.

Shortly before the Bavarian party took off for Brussels, the 30-year-old former Sporting Charleroi (1997-99) and Standard Liege (1999-2001) defender spoke to, reflecting on the special meaning of a match in his country of birth, his opinion of Thursday’s opponents, and the atmosphere Bayern can expect at the Constant Vanden Stock stadium.

Interview: Daniel van Buyten Daniel, you’re about to fly ‘home’ with Bayern. Is the RSC Anderlecht clash just another game like any other?
Van Buyten: “It’s definitely a bit special for me. It’s the first time I’ve been home with another club for a match against Belgian opponents. And I’m very proud to be doing so with a huge club like Bayern.“ What do your family and friends in Belgium think of the match?
Van Buyten: “They’re looking forward to seeing me again. They’ll all be at the stadium, which is obviously wonderful.“ What can you tell us about RSC Anderlecht? What kind of team are Bayern about to face?
Van Buyten: “Anderlecht are one of the best clubs in Belgium, they have plenty of Champions League and European experience. They had a tough start to the season, but they’ve pulled themselves together now. We’re arriving just as they run into peak form. They knocked out Bordeaux in the previous round, although Bordeaux were the better team on paper. I saw the match in Bordeaux, and Anderlecht looked good. You should never underestimate Anderlecht. It’ll be a hard game, but if we concentrate, our class will tell.“ Do you know any of the RSC players?
Van Buyten: “Anderlecht have four or five Belgian internationals. I’m looking forward to meeting them on the field of play.“ You played alongside Mbo Mpenza in Liege. Have you spoken to him?
Van Buyten: “We talked on the phone. He’s delighted we’re about to face each other, although I’m not sure he’ll play as he’s carrying an injury. Anderlecht are obviously fired up about playing a club as big as Bayern. They’ll be highly motivated.“ What can Bayern expect at the Constant Vanden Stock stadium?
Van Buyten: “It’s not a big ground, but it is the kind of stadium where you’re aware how close the fans are to the pitch. The supporters really get behind their team as long as they see they’re trying. The crowd is certainly one of Anderlecht’s weapons. RSC will want to have the fans on their side from the outset.“