Robben: No hatred between Netherlands & Germany anymore

The Bayern Munich winger believes that the fierce rivalry is something of the past, and has taken the time to praise the opposition coach Louis van Gaal
Arjen Robben believes that the rivalry between Netherlands and Germany is no longer as fierce as it used to be.

The neighbouring countries have had a tense footballing relationship ever since World War II, and fought out some intriguing battles on the pitch, most notably the 1974 World Cup final and the semi-final at Euro 1988.

However, Robben has stressed that the mutual hatred between Germany and Holland is something of the past as they enjoy a good relationship now.

"It's still an important and very special game," Robben was quoted as saying by Bild. "However, the hatred and aggressiveness from before is no longer there.

"The relationship between Netherlands and Germany is pretty good these days. It's no longer as emotional as back in the days.

"I think this has something to do with Louis van Gaal's time at Bayern Munich, but players like [Mark] van Bommel, [Rafael] van der Vaart and myself have made a good impression in Germany, too."

Robben then had his say on Van Gaal, who trained him at the Allianz Arena, and had nothing but praise for the Netherlands national team coach.

"He has a lot of charisma," the ex-Chelsea winger said. "Whenever he's talking, everybody remains silent and listens to him. And he has a very close relationship with the players.

"He's hard but fair. You know exactly what to expect of him. He's always very compassionate toward his players."

Netherlands host Germany at the Amsterdam ArenA on Wednesday evening, with the match scheduled to kick off at 20:30 CET.