Bayern Munich winger Arjen Robben has hit back at critics who claim he always does the same trick on the pitch.
Robben, 33, has become renowned for cutting in from the right hand flank on to his stronger left foot before shooting. In recent weeks, he fired Bayern ahead with a trademark goal past David Ospina in their 5-1 Champions League victory over Arsenal and repeated his signature move at the weekend with the league leaders’ final goal in an 8-0 Bundesliga drubbing of Hamburg.
Speaking about defences’ continued inability to deal with his well-established traits, Robben said that he was not a one-trick pony.
“You have to do it at exactly the right moment,” Robben told kicker. “It’s still a surprise because I often do something different — even though people say it’s always the same thing from Robben. Then I give the ball to [Philipp] Lahm, he crosses and Lewandowski scores.
“When I kicked the ball against Arsenal, I knew immediately it would go in. That’s the nicest feeling, that’s why we play football.”
Robben again stressed that he was ready to spurn the potential riches on offer in China to remain at Bayern.
“I’m really at home here, not just because of football but it’s down to the staff at the club. It’s all about the atmosphere and interaction,” he said. “It’s like a family here. I especially like having everything at our HQ at Sabener Strasse; at other big clubs it happens a lot that everyone works at the stadium while the team is at the training facility. There’s isn’t any contact then.”
The Netherlands skipper also had a message for younger players to work hard in training.
“I don’t want to come across as a clever old man, but of course today’s younger generation is somewhat different, we see that in daily life,” he said. “A Sport Director in Holland once said, ‘one could complain about the youth of today being only interested in their IPhone, but you could also try to get inside their heads and understand them.’
“The most important thing for me is to feel that young players want to learn on the training pitch. If they spend 10 hours sitting around playing PlayStation, that’s their business.”
Commenting on Bayern captain Lahm’s decision to retire at the end of the season at the age of 33, Robben added: “It’s a shame that he’s retiring. But I will enjoy the final three months with him — then I’ll have had eight wonderful years with him. That’s something special.”
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