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Altintop v Lahm & Co

Strong Bayern presence in Berlin

At Bayern, Hamit Altintop and his German international team-mates fight side-by-side for glory, but friendships will be put to one side on Friday “at least for 90 minutes,” Hamit confided to fcbayern.de ahead of the Euro 2012 meeting between Germany and Turkey. “Although it’s more like Bayern versus Turkey,” continued Altintop. The homes side is likely to feature six FCB men. “We’re really looking forward to it, it’s a very special match,” Altintop said.

The players will notice that special atmosphere the minute they walk out at the start. A capacity 74,244 crowd at the Berlin Olympic stadium will include some 30,000 Turkey fans. The last time Germany hosted the Turks in European championship qualifying, in Munich back in October 1999, visiting fans were in the majority.

Passionate support

It will certainly not feel like a normal home game for the Germans. “You can probably call it a game at a neutral venue,” said Altintop, set to earn his 60th cap. “There’ll be lots of Turkey fans in Berlin. We’ll have to see if it's really a home game for us,” commented Bastian Schweinsteiger, who is out of the match with injury.

Philipp Lahm is expecting “a fantastic atmosphere at the ground. I know a lot of Turks here in Germany were supporting us at the World Cup once Turkey failed to qualify.” The Germany skipper thinks it will be a physical encounter. “Hamit’s told us how much Turkey are fired up for the match. We’re exactly the same.”

Laying down a marker