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Defender and striker in one

Van Buyten joy at 'best half-season' for FCB

The facts speak for themselves about Daniel van Buyten. In Saturday's 5-2 victory over Hertha, the towering defender struck his fourth league goal of term, two of which were match-winners. Top scorers Mario Gomez and Thomas Müller aside, the Belgian is the only man to have scored in all three competitions. He has seven goals in total. “It's always special when a defender scores,” Van Buyten declared on Saturday.

Daniel has also been in fine fettle in his normal role as a stopper of goals at his own end. Against Hertha, he won 80 percent of his challenges, the best score of all 24 outfield players who featured in the game. Before kick-off, he boasted the second-best success rate in the league on 73 percent, behind only Bremen's Per Mertesacker. And the 32-year-old ranks third in intercepting opponents' passes, largely thanks to his soaring aerial presence.