Arjen Robben deserves to considered a Dutch legend like all-time greats Johan Cruyff and Marco van Basten, says new Bayern Munich boss Jupp Heynckes.
The 33-year-old winger has called time on his international career after seeing the Netherlands fail to reach the 2018 World Cup.
He steps aside having earned 96 caps for his country and contributed 37 goals, with it now up to the next generation to rebuild a fallen giant.
Heynckes, who has recently returned to the Bayern helm on a short-term deal as successor to Carlo Ancelotti, believes that Robben should be heralded as a modern day icon.
He told reporters at an Audi promotional event: "Holland brought up great footballers like Cruyff, [Ruud] Gullit, Van Basten and [Frank] Rijkaard.
“I think that you must classify Arjen in this group. He was an exceptional player for Holland just like them.”
While his international playing days are over, Robben is still very much a key figure at the Allianz Arena.
He remains a regular in his ninth season with Bayern, with 264 appearances having now been made for the German giants.
His efforts down the years have contributed to the collection of countless major honours, including six Bundesliga titles and a Champions League crown.
Robben is only under contract until the summer of 2018, having penned a 12-month extension in January, but Heynckes feels he is capable of gracing the very highest level beyond that point.
He added: "He is a professional you rarely meet. He has self-motivation like only very few other players.
"Arjen’s age is not an issue, he can still play on a very high level this and also next season."
Bayern and Robben will be back in domestic action on Saturday when they play host to Freiburg, in what will be the first game of Heynckes’ fourth spell at the helm.