I came across a little article from bundesliga.de that talked about Mark van Bommel and thought I'd post it for everyone to read. Enjoy!
Mark van Bommel has played in 42 Bundesliga games for FC Bayern München and has scored eight goals
Mark van Bommel: A Player in Flux
Ever since his debut, Mark van Bommel has been a regular pillar of the Bayern team. But nowadays the Dutchman doesn't only attract attention as an aggressive leader.
It seems like Mark van Bommel has been representing FC Bayern for a long time. But in fact he's been with the Record German Champions for just over a year.
Gala performance against the "Wolves"
Bayern had to search long and hard for a fighter like the 1.88-meter tall midfielder. Someone whose main job is to uncompromisingly stop opponents' attack, without a care for his own health. "Sometimes you have to be a swine on the pitch in order to win screwed-up games", said van Bommel about his greatest strength.
In his very first season, he won over the hearts of the fans and was chosen "Bayern Player of the Year" thanks to his steely fighting spirit.
From Spain to the Bundesliga
But the 30-year old had to strive for years to get to this point. Mark Peter Gertruda Andreas van Bommel began his professional career with Dutch side Fortuna Sittard, whom he helped get promoted in 1995, and established himself in the following years as a major player in the Dutch league and the national team.
This development didn't go unnoticed by Europe's top clubs. After a stint with PSV Eindhoven, with whom he captured three championships in four years, van Bommel made his way to FC Barcelona in 2005.
"Happy and proud"
Together with Ronaldinho und Co., van Bommel helped take Barcelona to the Spanish championship and the Champions League Cup in his first season there. He was also named Dutch footballer of the year in 2001 and 2005.
After two abortive attempts, Bayern finally got the player they wanted in the summer of 2006. "It was the right decision for me. I'm happy and proud to be able to play for FC Bayern", said the likable Dutchman on his first day with Bayern, August 28, 2006.
No trace of a stalemate
He made the Record Champions' starting squad from the start and has played a leading role on the team. His aggressive play and irrepressible will to win convinced the club.
Mark van Bommel has since developed even further under coach Ottmar Hitzfeld. Toughness and battlling are no longer his only strenghts. After getting yellow-carded ten times last season, he has only received one warning in the first 14 games this season.
"I think I was a little too aggressive last year. I did some things that weren't so clever. But you realize you still can learn something when you're 30", he said in an interview on the Bayern home page.
It's not that the Dutchman plays any less defensively than in the previous season. He simply has to risk much less, since the play practically comes to him and he "only" has to take corrective action. And he hasn't lost any of his prowess in duels: he's won 51 percent of them so far.
Excellent set-up man
Thanks to the famous new names up front, he's no longer under pressure to score goals. He and Ze Roberto are an ingenious duo ahead of the defensive line. He lends Bayern's play the necessary calm and serenity, and shines as a set-up man. Both on Matchday 6 against Karlsruher SC and in the first round of the UEFA Cup against Belenenses Lissabon, he set up the important 1:0 goal.
Let's hope that Mark van Bommel stays wtih Bayern for a long time to come