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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Aug 10, 2008

New Bayern skipper Van Bommel: I won't change

MUNICH, August 10 (Bundesliga) - Mark van Bommel became the first foreign captain of Bayern Munich on Friday, but he promises it will not change him as a person.

The Dutch midfielder was selected by new Bayern coach Jurgen Klinsmann to inherit the captain's armband from Oliver Kahn who retired in May.

'I will remain the same guy,' he said. 'I feel acceptance among the team and the coach and would be a bad captain if the captain's armband was to change me as a person.

'I will remain normal and not be fake.'

The 31-year-old arrived at Bayern two years ago from Barcelona and had already been the extended arm of former coach Ottmar Hitzfeld on the field, albeit unofficially.

His personality has got him into bother a few times, though, and he admits that is something he will have to work on.

'Now I have got to be even more of a role model and keep control of myself better,' he told the Bild am Sonntag newspaper.

'Discipline is important for keeping the team calm.'

Having said that, Van Bommel is not one to shirk responsibility and if there is something which has to be said or done, he will oblige.

He said: 'The coach will expect me to speak my mind with him. I have no fear arguing with Jurgen Klinsmann and do not shy from conflict.

'An open dialogue is important.'

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