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Daniel’s wonderful week

New deal, milestone and birthday for van Buyten

When the referee blew the final whistle on last week’s game against Mainz, the ball was trickling towards Daniel van Buyten. The Bayern defender was in his own half, about ten yards from the halfway line, but he spotted the ball approaching him and swung a boot in its direction. The pill covered 40, 50, then 60 yards – and landed in the net. It was a spectacular start to a great week for Daniel.

Last Thursday, he signed a two-year extension to his contract at Bayern. Saturday’s match in Wolfsburg will be his 150th Bundesliga appearance, and on Sunday, he celebrates his 32nd birthday. All’s well in the likeable Belgian’s world at present. “My family and I feel great about being here,” he said on Friday, one of the principle reasons he inked the new deal keeping him in Munich until 2012.

“I could have earned more elsewhere. I had some good offers from abroad,” Van Buyten revealed, “but you need to feel settled.” As a result, the central defender required little time to think over the offer presented to him by the club on Wednesday. He appended his signature the very next day.

On a roll

“I’m thrilled the club decided to offer me another two years,” Van Buyten commented. Bayern have recently tended to favour single-year deals for players over 30. “That would have been a tricky one,” said the 1.96m colossus, who says he feels “physically very strong” at the moment.