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Arjen Robben
Arjen Robben
Arjen Robben
Date of Birth:23 Jan 1984 (Age 30)
Place of Birth:Bedum
Nationality:Netherlands
Height:183 cm.
Weight:75 Kg.
Position:Midfielder
Squad Number:10
Bundesliga: Bayern München - Hannover 96, Arjen Robben (Getty Images)
From his time as a hot prospect at FC Groningen, Arjen Robben was always destined to be a sensation. The dribbling skills and pace of the 16-year old left winger made his experienced opponents look like novices. Dutch football lovers were witnesses of the birth of a new Dutch star in the game against Feyenoord, 17 December 2000.

PSV succeeded in signing the 18-year old winger in the summer of 2002. Robben had an immediate impact on the Eindhoven side, scoring twelve goals in 33 games and winning the Dutch league title. The young winger starred in a team with players like goal machine Mateja Kezman and midfielder Mark van Bommel.  Like Wesley Sneijder, Robben made his debut in the Dutch national team in a friendly against Portugal, 30 April 2003.

The 2003/2004 season started off well for Robben, but in this season he started to suffer from several injuries. It was something that created his nickname ‘The Man of Glass’. Chelsea signed him in the summer of 2004 after the European Championship in Portugal. Robben was outstanding in the 2-3 defeat against Czech Republic, the most spectacular game of the tournament. His substitution for Paul Bosvelt in the 59th minute of that game caused so much criticism that it would play an important role in the departure of Dick Advocaat as national head coach.

His time in London became quite a successful one, winning the Premier League in 2005 and 2006 and the FA Cup in 2007. Robben was admired because of his pace, assists and goals, but also criticised because he tended to dive a lot.

His goal against Serbia & Montenegro in Leipzig meant the first victory of the Netherlands at the World Cup 2006.

Real Madrid paid €36 million for Robben to sign him from Chelsea in the summer of 2007. He won La Liga in 2008, but again suffered a lot from injuries. He wasn’t 100 per cent fit either during Euro 2008, but that did not prevent him from scoring an ‘impossible’ goal in the game against France. Juande Ramos, temporary Madrid coach in the 2008/2009 season, tried Robben on the right wing instead of the left wing. It proved to be quite a success and also showed the versatile side of the Dutch dribbler.

When Florentino Perez re-entered the stage in the summer of 2009, it was clear that Robben’s term at Madrid was over. Bayern Munich coach Louis van Gaal proved to be his saving angel. It was love at first sight with the Bayern fans; together with another substitute called Franck Ribery, Robben trashed German champions VfL Wolfsburg 3-0 during his debut. However, an injury prevented the Dutchman to have more impact on the German football lovers for quite a while. Bayern had a difficult period but together with the comeback of Robben, Der Rekordmeister won the double and also still participating in the Champions League.

Did you know?

Arjen Robben scored the decisive penalty in the shoot-out against Sweden, quarter final Euro 2004. It ended the long penalty trauma of the Dutch. During EC 1996, WC 1998 and EC 2000 the Netherlands were knocked out of the tournament after losing the penalty shoot-out.

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