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Hamit v Halil

FCB man fired up for battle of the brothers

Hamit Altintop’s uncle, brother-in-law and a host of friends will all be present in person at the Allianz Arena on Saturday, as Bayern’s meeting with Schalke doubles as an Altintop family reunion – both in the stands and on the field of play, where Hamit crosses swords with his twin brother Halil of Schalke. “We call each other every day,” Hamit revealed, describing the exceptionally close relationship between himself and his ten-minute younger sibling. However, for the twelfth time in all, the pair will set aside their deep bonds for the duration of a football match on Saturday.

The Altintop twins have spent long periods operating in tandem. Until 2003, Hamit and Halil always played for the same club (Schwarz-Weiß Gelsenkirchen-Süd, TuS Rotthausen, Wattenscheid 09). They were reunited at Schalke for the 2006-7 campaign, but there have also been eleven battles of the brothers in the Bundesliga (9), DFB Cup (1) and League Cup (1).

Confident ahead of run-in

Schalke (Hamit) against Kaiserslautern (Halil), and Bayern (Hamit) against Schalke (Halil) were the clubs involved, although the record strongly favours the elder twin. Hamit has finished on the winning side in nine of the duels and Halil just one, with a single fraternal draw. Hamit is determined to clock up a tenth victory over his brother on Saturday. “It’s a game we have to win,“ he declared on Wednesday.