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All-Stars interview

Van Bommel: Munich was a great experience

They talked, laughed, ate, drank and enjoyed themselves. The FC Bayern All-Stars sat together in Manchester until early morning to celebrate their reunion on Saturday. “It's wonderful to meet and talk about Bayern – and about what has happened in the meantime. You benefit from that,” reported Mark van Bommel afterwards.

In his interview with fcbayern.de the Dutchman reflects on the clash between the All-Stars and the Manchester United Legends (who won 4-2), on what FC Bayern means to him and reveals what his new career looks like.

Interview: Mark van Bommel

fcbayern.de: Hallo, Mark! How was it at Old Trafford?
Mark van Bommel:
“Super! It's always special to play in such a great stadium in front of so many people. Besides I have very nice memories of Old Trafford: in 2010 we got through to the Champions League semi-final here. You don't forget that.”

fcbayern.de: As a former Bayern player you probably want to win your games with the All-Stars. Do you regret that it didn't work out?
Van Bommel:
“Sure. I wanted to win very badly. Unfortunately I wasn't completely fit. I have an issue with my thigh so I needed to be careful. After the first half I couldn't go on. My energy would have lasted though – I still keep myself fit.”

fcbayern.de: More than 50,000 fans were in the stadium. Were you nervous before the kickoff?
Van Bommel:
“Not at all. When I was a pro I used to be a bit nervous before each match. But at some point I got used to it. You have to enjoy games such as the one in Manchester and have fun. And we had fun!”

fcbayern.de: How was it to see some of your old colleagues?
Van Bommel:
“Very nice! We'd encountered Manchester and talked in the Allianz Arena in 2014 already. It's wonderful to meet and talk about Bayern – and about what has happened in the meantime. You benefit from that.”

fcbayern.de: Two years have passed since you finished your career. Honestly: how often do you still wish you were still out on the pitch?
Van Bommel:
“Of course I miss playing football. It's the best feeling there is. But you have to accept that it's over at some point. I'm glad to have decided when I’d end my career myself. That's better than others approaching you, saying: 'You've got to stop!'”

fcbayern.de: Apart from your time in Munich you've played for three other top clubs: PSV Eindhoven, FC Barcelona and AC Milan. How important has FC Bayern been to you?
Van Bommel:
“It's no secret that I was a Bayern fan as a kid. I played for this club for four and a half years, I was the skipper. I didn’t spend as much time anywhere else during my career. You can see that I've felt very, very happy here. The time in Munich was a great experience!”

fcbayern.de: How close are you to Bayern now?
Van Bommel:
“I follow everything! I'm still in touch with players, caretakers and physios. We're in permanent contact. When I'm in town I try to pop in at the Säbener Strasse. They always welcome me with open arms.”

fcbayern.de: Our players have a slightly longer break than before this year. How important is that, particularly after a World Cup in the previous year?
Van Bommel:
“In the past I had three weeks off at maximum, that's enough. Even on vacation I kept myself in shape; the players today certainly do that as well. After three weeks at the latest you ask yourself: When will it start again? You want to step on it at once and clinch titles. And Bayern will have a chance to win all the three titles in the next year too, I'm certain.”

fcbayern.de: At the moment you're U-19 assistant coach at PSV Eindhoven. How does your personal future look?
Van Bommel:
“I'm working on my top coaching badges right now. I'll be done in three or four months, then I can coach everybody. It's hard to say which team I'll take over one day, you can't plan it. Juniors or pros? I'm open. What's important: I want to learn a lot!”

fcbayern.de: On the occasion of the Allianz team presentation on 11 July the FCB All-Stars will play Inter Milan – with Mark van Bommel?
Van Bommel:
“That's not yet clear. It depends on pre-season with the U-19 squad; the schedule isn't fixed yet. But I'd certainly like to be there.”