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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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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