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Arjen Robben
Gender Male
Ethnic Dutch
Job Dutch Footballer
Desc A mercurial talent who never truly settled in the league due to injuries, but for a short spell was arguably the best on display. The flying Dutchman could turn passive possession into danger in a flash with his exceptional control when running at speed. Injuries plagued his time in England with spells at Real Madrid and Bayern establishing himself as one of the greats of his generation


Org Dutch National Team
Club as Player Bayern Munich
  Real Madrid

2012 06 05 Retrieve

[Former Chelsea star Arjen Robben refused to pick the most difficult opponents in a pool: Germany, Portugal and Denmark] All three - it’s going to be three very difficult matches. It’s a very hard group and we have to be there from the first game on

2014 11 15 Retrieve

[Arjen Robben on being nominated for the FIFA Ballon d’Or and comparisons to Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo] It’s great to be recognised and I’m proud to be on the shortlist, but it’s never been an obsession for me and it never will be, because what I care about are team trophies. I don’t like comparing myself to others, but you are talking about two monsters! They have succeeded beyond reality for half a dozen years. They are above everyone else

2015 01 17 Retrieve

[Arjen Robben on retirement] As long as my body works and I’m having fun, I will go on. Maybe one, maybe two years. Or maybe ten

2015 02 14 Retrieve

[Arjen Robben reflects on the block by Javier Mascherano that arguably stopped Netherlands reaching the FIFA World Cup Final] It was just his big toe and he managed to get the block in. It’s these kind of centimetres that decide whether you win or lose a game

2016 02 13 Retrieve

[on Jose Mourinho] Mourinho puts out a winning team, it doesn’t matter if it’s done with nice football or not

2016 04 30 Retrieve

[Arjen Robben on Riyad Mahrez’s performances for Leicester City, but the Dutch international predicts the Foxes may have trouble holding onto their Algerian star in the summer transfer window] He’s a very talented player. Well, that’s maybe the only negative thing about it. Because they’re doing so well, other clubs will probably be hunting

2017 01 07 Retrieve

[Arjen Robben talks with Fox Sports about his summer move to the German club from Spanish giants Real Madrid in 2009] It was a bit of a weird summer with the return of Florentino Perez as president. And then all the new signings arrived. Cristiano Ronaldo, Kaka, Karim Benzema and Xabi Alonso all came to Madrid for a huge amount of money. We were told that the club would be able to make some money on me, if they sold me. But I initially did not want to leave. I had possibly my best pre-season ever, but I still did not get a chance, so I had to make a decision. There was contact with Bayern, but it was a difficult decision, the most difficult one of my career. Bayern were not among the European elite at that moment – like we are now – and it was a step back for me. I went for it in the end, because the club did everything within their power to sign me. And the presence of Louis van Gaal obviously played a role as well. I am a real Bayern man now, I am into my eighth season here and I have become a part of this club

2017 10 14 Retrieve

[Arjen Robben announces his retirement from international football] The man of glass has lasted the longest. I’ve been thinking about it for a long time. I have already considered it for a while, but then I went on. I wanted to finish this qualification. I’m 33 years old now. I’m playing at a top club in Europe and I want to concentrate on it now. It’s also a good time to hand over the baton. I still feel very good and want to be at the top as long as possible. I am very proud and honoured at my six tournaments. The most beautiful moments for me were the World Cups of 2010 and 2014, in which we were really a close team and a close group. But there are many beautiful moments, fourteen years is a long time

2019 05 24 Retrieve

[Arjen Robben says politics at Real Madrid, and not just Cristiano Ronaldo’s arrival, forced him to suffer a ‘difficult’ exit from the club] It became difficult for me because of the change of president at Real. I actually felt very comfortable there and played very well, but when politics come into play and you do not get a real chance, you have to make a decision whether you want to keep fighting or to go and continue your career elsewhere. It was not just Ronaldo. Perez returned as the club’s president. He then bought Ronaldo, but also Kaka, Karim Benzema and Xabi Alonso. Real spent so much money and we were told that they needed to make a bit of money back on outgoing transfers. For me it was a shame, because I had a very good relationship with the former coach Manuel Pellegrini. In addition, I had perhaps the best pre-season of my career.

I talked to Mark van Bommel and to Louis van Gaal. He told me how had he plans for me. Both clearly signalled to me: ‘Come to Munich, please’. I remember the decision was not easy. We sat together as a family on the terrace and talked. After all, it was about leaving a big club like Real Madrid. There was no turning back then. By comparison, Bayern was not so successful in Europe at the time. My goal had always been to win the Champions League. I wanted to show that I was good enough. The move to Bayern was the best decision of my career

2019 05 24b Retrieve

[Arjen Robben considers Pep Guardiola to be tactically brilliant] He is tactically brilliant. I had a lot of fun under him and continued to develop myself. Also, because he has used me in different positions. Pep has established a very special style of play here. He is football crazy in a positive way.

[The only blot on Guardiola’s copybook at Bayern is considered to be his failure to deliver more Champions League success] We were unlucky with injuries. You will never know what would have happened if everyone had been fit. Back then we were so strong that there was certainly more possible. I am really sorry that it did not work. Some say Pep was not successful in Munich because he did not win the Champions League. I do not represent this opinion. Under Pep we played wonderful football and were three times in the Champions League semi-final. I know that coaches are also judged on titles, but I’m someone who looks outside the box. Football is not always fair

[Bayern have got no further than the last four in Europe since Guardiola departed in 2016] No. If you play permanently at such a high level, you are spoiled. If it does not work then, as this season against Liverpool [in the last 16], that is unusual. But our opponent has marched through to the final. That says everything. The club will continue to develop next season. New players are coming, some veterans will go

: 2019 06 21 Borussia Monchengladbach’s sporting director Max Eberl has confirmed that the club have no interest in signing Arjen Robben this summer

2019 07 04 Retrieve

[Bayern Munich & Netherlands legend Arjen Robben announces retirement] I have been thinking a lot over the past few weeks. As everyone knows, I took the time to make an informed decision about my future after my last Bayern Munich match. And I decided to put an end to my career as a professional football player. It is without doubt the hardest decision I have had to make in my career. A decision where heart and mind collided. The love for the game and the conviction that you can still handle the whole world, as opposed to the reality that not everything runs the way you want and you are no longer the 16-year-old boy who had no idea what an injury meant. At the moment I am fit and healthy and as a fan of many other sports I would like to keep it that way for the future. I will therefore stop definitively, but it is good that way

2019 07 05 Retrieve

[Only one more campaign in Real Madrid would follow for Robben however with the arrival of Ronaldo among others leaving the Dutchman on the outer] It was not just Ronaldo. Perez returned as the club’s president. He then bought Ronaldo but also Kaka, Benzema and Xabi Alonso. Real spent so much money and we were told that they needed to make a bit of money back on outgoing transfers

[Humbly bowing to the star power that surrounded him, Robben happily moved to Bayern. In the 2012 Champions League final against Chelsea, the winger infamously had an extra-time penalty saved with his former team ultimately triumphing in a shootout. Back in the decider the following year, Robben returned with a vengeance and after setting up the opener, scored an 89th-minute winner as Bayern beat bitter rivals Borussia Dortmund 2-1] For a moment I could not believe what was happening in our own stadium. I was shocked

[Incidentally, playing for his native Netherlands remains one of his crowning achievements, despite the fact he never lifted a trophy with the Oranje] It might be a cliche, but there really is no better thing than playing for your own country. In the end, I decided to quit in 2017 after 96 international caps. I got to play six big tournaments and was the captain during my last years with the team. All together, it’s an unforgettable time that I’ll always cherish

[As one of the more intelligent footballers that have graced the pitch over the past two decades, Robben’s confirmation that he was hanging up his boots had a rather poetic feel to it] It’s July again. The time for a soccer player to be preparing for the next season. Not me. I’ve used the last couple of weeks to think things through. As everybody knows I took some time after my last match for Bayern Munich to make up my mind for the future. And now I have decided to end my career as a professional player. This has been without a doubt the hardest decision I have had to make in my career. A decision in which ‘heart’ and ‘head’ bumped into each other. The love for the game and the conviction that you can still take over the world versus the reality that it doesn’t always go like you want it to and that you’re no longer a 16-year-old boy who doesn’t know what it’s like to be injured

2019 07 30 Retrieve

[In 2009, Arjen Robben arrived at Bayern Munich, having been eclipsed by bigger stars at previous club Real Madrid. Cristiano Ronaldo and Kaka were bought during the summer] I didn’t want to go but the club wanted to sell me. There have been many lies but, at the end of the day, I have to decide what’s best for me, because I want to play and to show the footballer I am

2019 08 20 Retrieve

[Bayern Munich legend Arjen Robben considers Pep Guardiola to sit above the likes of Jose Mourinho and Carlo Ancelotti when it comes to the best coach he has worked with] ‘s difficult, of course. But if you ask me who was the best, I say Pep Guardiola. I enjoyed it most with him. Football-wise, he is simply brilliant. When Pep came, I was already 30 years old. You’re just trying to stay constant and not get any worse. But under him I got better again. I suddenly played in different positions where I never thought that I would play. He was the best

I got a very nice call from Brazzo [Hasan Salihamidzic], he told me Coutinho wanted the 10. I replied that I only want the best for the club and if the 10 is good for him, that’s great and they have to do it. Coutinho is a world-class player, he will certainly help the club. A super transfer. He will need some time, but with his skills he will go for it

[He is looking forward to enjoy a relaxing break after escaping the demands of professional football] The decision to stop was very, very difficult for me. But in the end, I think it’s the right one. I want to rest and spend more time with the family. It’s also good to have nothing to do with football if you’ve lived as a professional for so long. After a while we’ll have a look. I started as a pro at the age of 16, and your life is football for 24 hours a day. The family had to join in and now it’s time to repay them. We took full advantage of the holiday. Now the children go back to school and then everyday life starts again

2019 08 24 Retrieve

[Arjen Robben about his future plans] Next season, I will train my youngest son’s team. Then of course they already know what the training plan is: cut in from the right and shoot with the left

2019 08 27 Retrieve

[Retired former Netherlands winger Arjen Robben has not ruled out the possibility of resuming his playing career] I always say: never say never. Maybe in one or two months I’ll have a strange feeling that I miss the whole thing too much and will decide I have to go back. But of course it doesn’t get any easier the longer you’re retired. I do not rate the chances [of returning] very highly

[He said of retiring] It’s without a doubt the hardest decision I’ve ever made in my career

[On announcing his decision in July] At the moment I am fit and healthy and as a fan of many other sports I want to keep it that way for the future. So I will definitely stop, but it is good that way. It is without doubt the most difficult decision I have had to make in my career. A decision in which heart and mind collided. The love for the game gives you the conviction that you can still handle the whole world, as opposed to the reality that not everything works the way you want and you are no longer the 16-year-old boy who had no idea what an injury meant

2020 04 26 Retrieve

[Former Bayern Munich star Arjen Robben says he has considered coming out of retirement] In the beginning I didn’t miss football at all. But then there was a phase when it tickled again and I had thoughts such as: ‘Hey, maybe I would like to play a little again’. From time to time I still have this feeling. With this virus, it is a very strange time for everyone and when football returns, then now! But maybe it always stays a bit in there. I’m just an athlete.

I missed a lot of games, I was just busy. I’ve never been able to plan anything privately. When you’re retired, nobody is waiting for you but you need something that is worth getting up for. In my case, that is my children

2020 05 10 Retrieve

[Arjen Robben and his retirement] In the beginning I didn’t miss football at all. But then there was a phase when it tickled again and I had thoughts such as: ‘Hey, maybe I would like to play a little again’

2020 05 14 Retrieve

[Bayern did take sweet revenge, though, and on the biggest stage of all. In the first-ever all-German UEFA Champions League final in 2012/13, Arjen Robben’s 89th-minute goal left Bayern on top of Europe for the fifth time thanks to a 2-1 win at Wembley in a season they completed an unprecedented treble masterminded by Jupp Heynckes] It was like a fairy tale - winning the final at Wembley and scoring in the last minute. It can’t get any better

2020 05 26 Retrieve

[Arjen Robben has described former Bayern Munich boss Pep Guardiola as the ‘master of offensive football’] I love football and, above all, the offensive football - and Pep is a master at it. He focused on attack and total ball control. Of course, I particularly liked that. We were on the same wavelength. He made sure that I became more complete. For me, Pep is the best coach in the world. The three years with him in Munich were extremely instructive.

Back then, my only wish was to win the Champions League and Bayern was not one of the top clubs in Europe. But I took the risk and it was worth it. It was really not an easy decision for me at the time. But going to Bayern was the best of my career in retrospect

2020 06 12 Retrieve

[Arjen Robben has hinted he could make a return to football but has ruled out playing for Bayern Munich again] I have to disappoint you. My comeback at Bayern is a hundred percent impossible

[Asked if he could start playing again] You never know. I don’t want to say yes or no now. For me and my family, the move to Holland is due at the end of the month. We’ll see everything else. In any case, I will always stay connected to Bayern

I train two to three times a week with head of fitness Dr. Holger Broich and I would like to continue doing so. We do runs, sprints and also work with the ball. I really enjoy it and I want to stay fit. I am very grateful to the club for giving me the opportunity to do this training. In the past few months, however, I have always been seen at Bayern’s training centre

My fitness levels are very good. Staying fit after retirement is very important to me. I also wanted to run a marathon this year, which unfortunately did not work due to the coronavirus crisis. As far as I can tell, I haven’t put on weight yet. So everything is fine with me. I feel very good at the moment. I also notice clearly that pressure has dropped from me. There are days when I train very intensively in my free time. If it starts to hurt in the body, I give myself a break and only train again when I am free of pain. This is definitely a difference from my playing career. He and all the other talents at Bayern should never be satisfied with themselves. Joshua has to want to improve every day, set a new goal every day and never be fed up. It is also important that he reflects on his performance again and again. The fact that he was always in the squad recently shows that Hansi Flick is satisfied with his development, but it will be very important that he plays regularly. I wish Joshua only the very best for the future

2020 06 27 Retrieve

[Arjen Robben has announced a stunning return to professional football with his first club, Groningen] I was 12 years old when I started playing in Groningen’s youth academy, I made my home debut against Feyenoord when I was 16. After two years I made a transfer to PSV Eindhoven. After a wonderful adventure of 18 years we’re coming home! Back to Groningen. We’re coming home during this difficult time of crisis, one that also hits FC Groningen. It’s great to see how everyone is supporting the club, I’ve supported the club as well and it made me think about what else I could do for our club. These past weeks I’ve had many conversations with club staff and maybe more than anything I’ve listened to the call of our supporters: Arjen, follow your heart!

I want to make my comeback as a football player, a player of FC Groningen. It started to itch and now it’s my mission. I’m working on a comeback as a player, at FC. I don’t know yet whether or not this will work, but I do know it will not depend on my commitment or motivation. It is my dream to wear the kit of FC Groningen again. It will be a tough physical challenge but I’m going for it! I am going to work hard and when everything feels right, I will join the team for the first training session of the new season. I hope to see everyone as soon as possible because my dream is to play in an FC Groningen jersey. We’re not there yet, but one can dream!

2020 06 28 Retrieve

[Groningen used The Last Dance clips to help lure Robben out of retirement] I’m here to help the club. You do that by showing the right attitude. I don’t have anything to lose and I’m going into the challenge with a positive attitude and to try to make the best of it. I haven’t set any goals, it could be over in a month or it could last two years

[On his wife’s support for the decision to come out of retirement] It made the decision a lot easier knowing I had the support of my family. Retiring was the toughest decision of my career, maybe a little forced upon me with all the injuries. We decided to stay a year in Munich to enjoy the city and get used to the idea of not playing football. I didn’t watch much for about six months and really enjoyed doing other things. Eventually the sports lover in you starts to nag and I had been training to run the Rotterdam Marathon before the coronavirus crisis