thank you, mark van bommel!

he will be missed: bayern's ex-captain van bommel announced the move o ac milan today.

i’ve been a fan of mark van bommel as a football player for a long time. since his days at psv eindhoven, mostly that semifinal campaign in the 2004/05 season, when the dutch player was a strong leader and led the team into the semifinal of the uefa champions league, alongside veteran phillip cocu. van bommel had started his career at fortuna sittard, from where he moved the the national top club at the age of 22. after his great season in 2005, fc barcelona hired the  high scoring defensive midfielder (around 60 goals in 320 appearances). it wasn’t the best of seasons for van bommel, who wanted more playing time at his prime age for playing football. although he played and won the uefa champions league final against arsenal in 2006, van bommel decided to move to bayern munich, hoping that he would get more playing time and still add some highlights to his career.

today, after 4 and a half great years for the club and a great performance last weekend, van bommel announced he’s leaving the club. at age 33 and quickly moving to 34, bayern had told their captain (since 2008) that he would not get a new extension. ac milan bought the “old” star, who is still younger than his landsman clarence seedorf and might replace him in the italian’s midfield. van bommel, who became national team captain after the world cup, probably received an 18 month contract. his role in the bayern family might someday bring him back to the club, though.

classic van bommel...

after all, the time at bayern did provide him with some career highlights, almost crowning it last may:

  • van bommel was elected bayern player of the season 2006-07, his first season at the club, beating favorites makaay, scholl and kahn
  • he won the bundesliga and the german cup in may of 2008
  • after oliver kahn’s retirement in 2008, he became the first non-german to captain bayern munich, selected by jürgen klinsmann and confirmed by louis van gaal in 2009.
  • in may 2010, van bommel won the bundesliga and the german cup for the second time, first time as the captain and the one to receive the trophies. he also played the uefa champions league final, which he lost to inter.
  • in july, he played in the world cup final, probably the biggest match in his career; he had a good tournament, but had a bad final, only appearing to the public due to his violent playing style

mark van bommel has earned great respect and admiration from bayern fans anywhere mostly for his behavior outside of the pitch, with his good humor, seriousness, wise words and natural leadership. his playing style is sometimes a little rough (and he gets a lot of yellow cards), but he has a great eye for passes into the holes of the defense and great organizational skills.

bayern need not worry, in terms of quality. luis gustavo will grow into an important role for bayern, anatoly tymoshchuk also deserves a chance in his favorite position; i even think the ukranian has a tad more quality to offer. and the hierarchy without the captain is okay, with schweinsteiger being the chef on the field, and lahm the new and good captain (great media work). for phillipp lahm, it is a dream come true: to become the captain of his home team, in his home town; almost more important than being captain of the german national team. but, as mentioned before, it is bastian schweinsteiger who will take over on the pitch.

bayern in the hands of the bavarian: captain lahm and chef schweinsteiger were both born in munich.

still, van bommel will be missed for the remainder of the season. i wish he’d stayed to try for a champions league title, but his decision to move to milan now is actually the best one for him, at his age. thanks for all, though.

(yes, if you didn’t know it, i am a bayern munich fan)

Published in: on January 25, 2011 at 13:06  Comments (1)  

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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. looking forward to see him at milan.

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