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Bayern’s Dutch midfielder assured his team-mates that he is ready to do battle against his old friends, but he won’t celebrate if he scores.

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Mark van Bommel may only have spent one season with Barcelona before joining Bayern Munich in 2006, but he has the Catalan spirit coursing through his veins.


His current employers and his old club will collide on Wednesday evening at the Camp Nou for the first leg of the Champions League quarter-finals and, although the Dutchman admitted that it will be an emotional night for him, he promised his fans and team-mates that he will do whatever is necessary to beat his rivals.

“The one year that I spent at Barca was unforgettable,” he said during a pre-match press conference. “It will be hard to jump onto the field to face them or to avoid clashing with ‘Puyi’[Carles Puyol], but the emotions will not last long.

“When the referee blows the opening whistle, I will only think about Bayern and about winning. If I have to stick it to them, then I will stick it to them. However, if I score a goal, I will not celebrate.”

The 31-year-old then went on to praise his direct competition in midfield, Xavi, as well as under-fire Blaugrana goalkeeper, Victor Valdes.

“Xavi has extraordinary talents but I have the advantage of knowing how to play against him,” he said in Spanish after having conducted most if the interview in Dutch.

“As for Valdes, he is a great goalkeeper with a long career ahead of him still. Barca should be very happy to have someone like him.” 

KS Leong, Goal.com

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