One of the most popular and talented Dutchmen to play the game, Arjen Robben is a fantastic striker who plays as a wide winger at most times. Known for his pace and dribbling skills, Robben has been a massive contributor to the teams he’s played in. Jumping onto the world stage at the UEFA European Championships in 2004, Robben has made his mark with some of the biggest teams in Europe.
Robben started off, young, at a small club in his home town called vv Bedum. Scouted and picked up by Groningen, Robben ventured into the world of professional football soon afterwards. As part of the Coerver coaching method, Robben was exposed to the highest standards of professional football training at a very early age.
Once he moved to Groningen, Robben became a force to be reckoned with. He rose through the youth ranks extremely quickly and in 2000, broke into the first team squad. From his very first season, Robben had started to establish himself as one of the key members of the squad.
He turned out for 50 games over two seasons and although he scored just 8 goals, Robben was quickly becoming one of the most feared wingers in the game.
In 2002, after noticing his growth for two years, Robben made the big move to Dutch giants PSV Eindhoven. 56 games in two seasons with 17 goals was a fantastic return for the Dutch winger/striker. His performance at Euro 2004 had impressed many, including Chelsea FC who decided to bring the Dutchman into their ever-burgeoning squad.
Robben’s time at Chelsea saw him get injured often. When on the pitch, his pace and trickery was there for all to see. He played for three seasons at Stamford Bridge and only managed 67 appearances. Playing for a strong team, Robben only got an opportunity to score 15 times. By the end of it, his troubles with injuries got the better of him and Chelsea were ready to ship him out.
Thankfully, for Robben, Real Madrid were waiting for him. Robben moved to a star-studded Real Madrid side in 2007. Over the next two seasons, his injury troubles reduced, but never went away. He only played 50 games with 11 goals to his name. This was never going to be enough for the Bernabeu faithful who looked for a lot more from their players.
Madrid became ready to bring in a new set of superstars in Kaka, Cristiano Ronaldo and others. Robben was forced to leave as Real needed the money and space on the pitch. Robben claimed that he didn’t want to go but was being forced to leave.
He left, eventually, and went to Bayern Munich, where Robben’s injury issues cropped up again. There was almost the feeling that Robben was scared of getting tackled and was too fragile to survive at the top level of football. However, at every such instance, the Dutchman would come back with a bang! At Bayern, he put his foot down ever so sternly, slapping his critics with 25 goals in just under 35 league games.
Robben, almost singlehandedly, took Bayern Munich to the finals of the 2009-10 UEFA Champions League with spectacular goals an fantastic wins against difficult teams like Juventus and Manchester United. Today, he continues to be the main fire power in the Bayern Munich lineup.
At the international level, the Netherlands have always been gifted with extraordinary strikers. Robben is another on that star-studded list! Since 2003, Robben has been a part of the Dutch national team and even though injury has prevented him from playing more than just 52 games, he has been instrumental in taking Holland to the finals of the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
With a host of individual and team awards to his name, Arjen Robben is one of the greatest football players in the world today.
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