When we talk about Bayern Munich's core player identity , Philipp Lahm and Bastian Schweinsteiger always come to the forefront of our minds. But hidden deep down is the fact that Daniel van Buyten is just as Bayern Munich through and through. The 6'6" Belgian has been at Bayern Munich since transferring from Hamburger SV in the summer of 2006 and just last week celebrated his 36th birthday.
2006. At the end of this season Daniel van Buyten will have been a Bayern Munich player for 8 years. In that time he's amassed nearly 19,000 minutes over 236 appearances comprised of 28 goals, 11 assists and only a single red card.
Just one year removed from a run of the best performances of his life, it's no surprise that as he sees the twilight of his career as a time to reflect on the club to which he's dedicated nearly a quarter of his life. In a recent interview, the 76-time capped Belgian said that he would like to still continue playing, though he has admitted he'll likely retire from international competition following the 2014 World Cup. He stated that if another club offered him the opportunity to play he would take that opportunity, but not without first offering Bayern Munich the chance to retain his services first. [Merkur]
While he's certainly still capable of performing at the highest levels in the game, age and wear would be constant worries for any other team who wants to utilize him in anything more then a backup role. And it's in that sense that Bayern Munich should really continue to retain the Belgian after his season. He's still an excellent squad piece and as long as he can continue to train and keep it up at this level, he's valuable to Bayern on and off the field.
Even in the event that Van Buyten retires though, he still sees his future with Bayern Munich as he believes he could be a great scout for Bayern Munich in Belgium; a country with a growing mass of players who are diamonds just waiting to be polished.