Aston Villa's Stewart Downing hoping to emulate Netherlands' Arjen Robben next season

Villa winger has been inspired by the flying Dutchman...
Aston Villa winger Stewart Downing has revealed his admiration for Netherlands winger Arjen Robben.

The left-footed Downing believes that his fellow left-footer, who has earned rave reviews since moving to Bayern Munich last summer, has been one of the stars of the World Cup.

Robben has been extremely effective playing as a left-footed winger plying his trade on the right, something which has become a trend in modern football and something which Downing has become familiar with at Villa Park.

Downing and Ashley Young have frequently used the ploy to try and unsettle opposition defenders, and the former Middlesborough man has been especially impressed with the way Robben carries out the role.

"Robben is a great player. I didn't see a lot of him before he went to Chelsea because he was only young," Downing told the club's official website.

"But when he went to Chelsea I thought he was really good - quick, a good dribbler and he had a good shot on him.

"He has been one of the players that has stood out. He was injured before one of the games, came in and scored a couple of goals and is a big part of that Dutch team.

"He has done well at Munich as well. It can be an advantage playing on the right or the left. You can ask Ashley too, playing as a right footer on the left.

"It gives the defender a problem if you can use both feet and go on the opposite side. Barcelona do it with Messi on the right and Iniesta on the left and it is probably because you are playing against a full-back who is left-footed and you can cut in onto his weaker foot.

"It tends to work well with me and Ashley here because we are swapping and it gives defenders problems because it gives them different things to face up to."

However, whilst Downing is full of admiration for Robben and his World Cup exploits, he is backing Spain to emerge victorious on Sunday in the World Cup final.

"It will be a great final," continued Downing.

"The way they have played, I think Holland deserve to win but you can't rule out Spain because they have got so much quality in that team.

"David Villa is on fire and is likely to pop up with a goal. So I'll probably go with them overall."

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