Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 2 October 2014

Bayern Munich's Arjen Robben: I have nothing left to prove at club level

Bayern Munich's Arjen Robben scores the winning goal during the UEFA Champions League Final at Wembley Stadium, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday May 25, 2013. See PA story SOCCER Final. Photo credit should read: Adam Davy/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Use subject to restrictions. Editorial use only when not based solely on any team and/or any player(s) and/or devoted to the UEFA Champions League. No commercial use. Call 44 (0)1158 447447 for further information.
Bayern Munich's Arjen Robben scores the winning goal during the UEFA Champions League Final at Wembley Stadium, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday May 25, 2013.
Bayern Munich players celebrate as they lift the UEFA Champions League trophy during the UEFA Champions League Final at Wembley Stadium, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday May 25, 2013. See PA Story SOCCER Final. Photo credit should read: Martin Rickett/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Use subject to restrictions. Editorial use only when not based solely on any team and/or any player(s) and/or devoted to the UEFA Champions League. No commercial use. Call 44 (0)1158 447447 for further information.
Bayern Munich players celebrate as they lift the UEFA Champions League trophy during the UEFA Champions League Final at Wembley Stadium, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday May 25, 2013.
LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 25:  Borussia Dortmund fans ahead of the UEFA Champions League final match between Borussia Dortmund and FC Bayern Muenchen at Wembley Stadium on May 25, 2013 in London, United Kingdom.  (Photo by Martin Rose/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 25: Borussia Dortmund fans ahead of the UEFA Champions League final match between Borussia Dortmund and FC Bayern Muenchen at Wembley Stadium on May 25, 2013 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Martin Rose/Getty Images)

For Arjen Robben, the man who failed to convert the penalty that surely would have won Bayern Munich their fifth European Cup last May, the victory in Saturday's final was the end of a long wait for their biggest trophy in European club football.

 

Robben, 29, has started in all three of Bayern's finals in the last four years but this was his first win, and it was the Dutch international who scored the decisive goal with one minute of the regulation 90 to play. One year earlier in Munich his penalty in extra-time of the final was saved by Petr Cech and he was subsequently overlooked to take one in the shoot-out that Chelsea won.

Asked if beating Borussia Dortmund finally put that one to rest he said, "Of course, I put it to sleep. That is the best thing, the nice thing about sports. If you are down there, you have been through these tough moments, [but] then to come back.

"This is the biggest one, it is the biggest night of my life for sure. We will speak about this final for so long. People ask me this question and I said when I finally win this thing, I'm done on club level. It is the highest [target] you can achieve. I've won titles in four countries now, cups, but in the end it is all about this Champions League one. Now you are in the [history] books.

"Wembley is a special stadium, I have already been lucky to play the first FA Cup final in the new stadium which we [Chelsea] won against Manchester United. We played with Holland [in February last year] against England, won 3-2 and I scored two goals so it is a little bit my stadium already. I said that last time we played here. It's a pity they don't have a club here like FC Wembley – I'd have to move straight away."

Robben has two years remaining on his Bayern contract and would probably not have started on Saturday were it not for the injury to Toni Kroos which has ruled him out of the end of the season. Robben had previously suggested that he might leave in the summer, although that now looks unlikely. His moment of true quality, the winning goal, came late on but even before then he had been a constant threat to Dortmund.

The Dortmund defender Mats Hummels said it would be difficult for his club to repeat the success of the last two years with Mario Götze already sold and Robert Lewandowski likely to leave.

"Borussia will find it hard to repeat this next year," Hummels said. "Maybe we will lose two players so it will be really hard to be as good. We know the players we want. We know their names and if we get them I am really looking forward to next year. Maybe we could be as good as this year.

"It is very disappointing [to lose the final]. I have been at Dortmund for five years and a Champions League final is something you dream of. It is not just about success but the way you get success and the team you do it with. It just didn't happen.

"I have grown with the team. We haven't signed stars. We haven't signed big players. We have made big players. That is the way I like it."

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