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Van Buyten’s speciality: crucial European goals

Daniel van Buyten is rapidly earning a reputation as Bayern’s main man for the Champions League. In a repeat of last season, the defender again scored the opening goal of his club’s campaign in Europe’s elite club competition, handing his side a 64th-minute lead in the 3-0 victory away to Maccabi Haifa. The day after the win in Israel, the Belgian colossus spoke to about goalscoring, Louis van Gaal, and his greatest dream.

Interview: Daniel Van Buyten You scored the opener a year ago in Bucharest, now you’ve scored the opener against Haifa: are you contractually obliged to net Bayern’s first Champions League goal each season?
Van Buyten: “It wouldn’t be a bad thing. We played well in the first half, but we failed to do the most important thing - score. I’m delighted I scored the goal the team needed, just like a year ago in Bucharest. It set us on our way to the first three Champions League points of the season.” The strikers are normally responsible for the goals.
Van Buyten: “But from time to time, why not the defenders too? I try and get forward for set plays, because I like helping the team with a goal every now and then. It came off yesterday.” Your four Champions League goals for Bayern have all been important: the opener in Haifa and Bucharest, and both goals in a 2-2 draw away to AC Milan.
Van Buyten: “Obviously, I’m delighted about that. I’ll never forget these goals, and the fans tend to remember them too.” What’s more important: scoring, or keeping a clean sheet?
Van Buyten: “Both. We defenders always want a clean sheet. But defending is a team matter, as is attacking.”