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Reunion in Hamburg

Olic and sons converted to the cause

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Ivica Olic has been much in demand of late, giving a string of press interviews, appearing twice for, holding a teleconference with Hamburg journalists, and then facing reporters in Munich on Friday. His coach also wanted a word with the Croat. “We spoke to him about the game in Hamburg,” Louis van Gaal revealed on Thursday.

Bayern visit Hamburger SV this weekend, a voyage into the not-too-distant past for Olic. He spent two-and-a-half years in the north, before moving south on a free transfer this summer. “I had a great time,” Olic said on the eve of returning to his former stamping ground, although his thoughts only turned to the match on Thursday, he reported. “I’m not 20 or 21 any more, so it’s a normal match for me,” insisted the player who turned 30 some 11 days ago.

Professional to the core, the Croat is focused on the essentials. “We want to go there and take the three points,” he declared, although even he admits there will be an emotional dimension to the match for him personally. “I still have plenty of friends there, and I regularly talk to Frank Rost, Joris Mathijsen, David Jarolim and Mladen Petric.” Although no actual bets have been placed, Ivica is confident of victory: “We’ll win 2-1.”