Interview: Treble anniversary
Mon, 01/06/20, 09:00
Daniel van Buyten: It's hard to put the pride into words
With the 3-2 win in the DFB Cup final against VfB Stuttgart on 1 June 2013, Bayern became the first German team to complete the treble of league title, Champions League and DFB Cup. One of the key players in the greatest success in club history was Daniel van Buyten. Seven years later, the former central defender looks back at the triumph and talks to fcbayern.com about destiny, pride and special celebrations.
Interview with Daniel van Buyten
In the 2013 Cup final against Stuttgart, you played the full 90 minutes - what are your memories of this historic final?
Daniel van Buyten: "It was a very special day. It's an honour to play for a club as big as Bayern Munich. But to make history in this way, something that people will remember years later, was something very special. The time under coach Jupp Heynckes was outstanding. We really wanted to achieve success for him, because we knew that he would be moving on soon. It was a good time to do something historic. The cup final always stays with me, just like the Champions League final - it was a perfect season."
How fit were you before the cup final? A week earlier there was the triumph of Wembley - was it hard to motivate yourself again?
"As a footballer, you prepare well, so fitness is really a matter of the mind in such a late phase of the season. It's difficult to play at the highest level every time, but you can always push away the tiredness with mental strength. It was the same with the final. Of course we were tired. But when you have such a historic opportunity, you deliver a top performance because you don't want to say afterwards: 'Too bad we missed out'. Before the final, we said that despite already winning the league and Champions League, we wouldn't let up at all and go for everything that was possible. You can see today how important that was. Because winning the double is great, but the treble is something truly special!"
After a 3-0 lead for Bayern, Stuttgart brought the score back to 3-2. Did you have any doubts at this point?
"It was very strange. I had a dream beforehand that we would have difficulties late on but still win in the end. Crazily it was the same in the game. You don't fight for the treble every day, you have so many things in your head, but I dreamed the exact course of the game that happened: The final was not easy. Stuttgart hit a lot of long balls and we had to win a lot of headers at the back to get some breathing space. It was a bit hectic at the end."
There is a photo of you leading the cup procession in Berlin's Olympic Stadium after the final whistle.
"Back then the celebration came straight from my heart. I just grabbed the trophy and Bastian Schweinsteiger and then the rest of the team held on to me. That moment was very important to me. I was so proud to lift this trophy, which completed the treble - and then realise the whole team was behind me. That was my moment! It is difficult to put the pride into words. It was very special."
What triumph do you remember most from this long season?
"It all had a certain magic. No matter whether it was the league, after putting in the work all year. Or the Champions League, which every footballer dreams of winning once. We had won the DFB cup before, but this time it was so special because it completed the treble. But if I had to pick one, it would be the victory in the Champions League."
Some of your colleagues from back then are still playing today. Do you trust them to repeat the success of 2013?
"Why not? This is FC Bayern. We were very close a few times before 2013 and reached the Champions League final three times in four years. Bayern have also been close in the past four or five years."
The treble-winning 2012/13 season is the only time Bayern have played a better second half of the season than now - is that a good sign?
"Of course. But at Bayern you always have to be successful. Every year it starts anew, every year new players come. And records are there to be broken. The team is in good shape at the moment - but they have to keep going to the end. That will not be easy. However, it's always a good sign when the team are on the ball."
The father of the treble success was coach Jupp Heynckes. We look back at his unique career in the video: