Created on 06-07-2008 at 00:00 AM
For Daniel van Buyten, returning to Munich for pre-season was simply part of a personal programme covering the entire summer, vacation and all. The 1.96m (6 ft 5 in) colossus, renowned for his dedication and discipline in matters of fitness, instantly took to the new performance centre and its array of state-of-the-art gym equipment. “I’m pleasantly surprised,” he remarked, “these are perfect conditions for a professional.“
Jürgen Klinsmann has been true to his word with individually tailored training schedules, Van Buyten reported. “We’re all working on our weaker areas. We’re looking for a couple of percent more in matches,” continued the 30-year-old, who is currently working hard on his lower body power. Once the focus switches to outdoors fitness training, the Belgian is as always to be found in the leading group.
Fierce internal competition
The defender had established “a basic level of fitness“ while on holiday, he explained: “I can’t survive without training.“ He followed that up by pursuing a personal fitness programme in the ten days before reporting back for the new campaign, as Van Buyten knows the battle for places in central defence will be at least as fierce this term as it was last, and potentially even harder.
Apart from Martin Demichelis and Lucio, Breno now rates as a serious contender for first-choice status. “Obviously it’s highly competitive. It’s all part of it, but it doesn’t concern me,” the 30-year-old commented, “I’ll just do the best I can in training, and then I’ll earn my chance. If it’s not enough, then it’s not enough. At the end of the day, what matters is being able to say you gave it everything.“
Happy in Munich
Van Buyten made 27 appearances for Bayern last term, but was effectively the number three centre-half behind Demichelis and Lucio. However, the thought of moving on in search of first-team football never crossed his mind. “I wanted to know if the club still had need of my services, and I received a very positive answer. That did me a lot of good, because I feel very happy here,” he revealed, “I get up every morning looking forward to training.“ More than ever before, thanks to the new performance centre.