Arjen Robben: In the twilight of a glittering career at Bayern Munich
Maybe a couple of years late in arriving at the decision but finally Arjen Robben has decided to call time on his Bayern Munich career at the end of this season after enjoying a glittering career of 10 years in the red and whites.
"I can say that this is my last year and it is good like that," said Robben.
Robben, 34, has scored 98 goals in 198 Bundesliga games for Bayern and also boasts of winning seven league titles, the FIFA Club World Cup, four DfB Pokals and the UEFA Champions League in 2013. He had already called time on his international career after the Netherlands failed to qualify for the World Cup in Russia.
Robben enjoyed brief spells at Groningen, PSV Eindhoven, Chelsea and Real Madrid before joining Bayern Munich in 2009. Robben is often considered as one of the world’s best wingers and is renowned for his blistering pace and dribbling abilities.
Robben could have met the same fate as most wingers do, who reach the age of 30 and start wearing off eventually. On the contrary, Robben evolved and matured his game to a different level and enhanced a magical style of play which evolves around incredible agility. Often he was accused by many football pundits of going down quite easily inside the penalty box. Over time he has even rid himself of that once incessant diving.
Injuries have plagued his entire footballing career. Had it not been the case he would have reached even greater footballing heights and would have enjoyed an even longer career. Those Bavarian years still keep us wondering about the talent that he possessed.
He is the same person who scored that sensational volley from a corner to send Manchester United out of the Champions League as well as the late winner in the all-German Champions League final in 2013 against Borussia Dortmund.
Arjen Robben is not a one-trick master and he has shown everyone time and again of his versatility. His greatest skill has nothing to do with manoeuvring with the ball outside the penalty box, going past defenders before aiming for the top corner. In fact, his thought process with the ball at his feet and the fear he creates in the opponents' mind whenever he attacks can be considered as his greatest skill.
One can only hope that Robben will leave in the most fitting of manners at the end of the summer with silverware galore. Given the innumerable number of times he has made the difference for Bayern Munich in the past, Robben has recognised exactly the right moment to make his move.