Created on 31-05-2009 at 00:00 AM
On hearing his first professional club Fortuna Sittard had run into financial difficulties, Bayern captain Mark van Bommel quickly came up with an offer of help. Van Bommel, who spent 1992 to 1999 at his hometown club in the province of Limburg, asked FCB manager Uli Hoeneß whether a friendly could be arranged. The match duly took place on 31 May. “Hoeneß immediately said there’d be no fee,” the player reported.
As a result, Bayern’s final outing of 2008-9 was both the last game in charge for caretaker boss Jupp Heynckes, and on the other hand, a warm tribute to Van Bommel. The Sittard faithful at the Wagner & Partner stadium greeted their local hero with huge posters and banners, while club officials presented gifts to Van Bommel and Hoeneß beforehand.
However, Van Bommel’s appearance on the field of play was restricted to the symbolic taking of the kick-off. The player was unable to take part in the match with a hamstring injury. “I’d love to have played a couple of minutes on my former home ground, but the injury made it impossible,” commented Van Bommel, who is fighting to be fit for World Cup qualifying duty with the Netherlands next week.