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Born to win

Prolific Robben on course for personal best

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12 - 5 - 7 - 6 - 2 - 4 - 7. Not a telephone number or the lottery draw, but the number of goals scored by Arjen Robben in the last seven seasons: 12 and 5 with PSV Eindhoven, 7, 6 and 2 with Chelsea, and 4 and 7 with Real Madrid. Now with Bayern, the Dutch ace is well on the way to beating his personal best of a dozen goals in a season.

“He’s on ten and we’re nowhere near the end of the campaign,” said FCB chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge after Saturday’s 2-1 win over Freiburg, effectively settled by Robben’s second two-goal haul in the Bundesliga. “He’s exceptionally valuable to us,” added director of sport Christian Nerlinger. Robben also made a huge contribution to Bayern progressing to the Champions League quarter-finals four days earlier at Fiorentina’s expense.

“You always have to do it with conviction,” the 26-year-old said when asked about the way his last three goals have gone in. The strike in Florence was a fulminating 30-yard effort, followed by a 112 km/h thunderbolt against Freiburg, the player’s third goal direct from a free-kick this term. The winning penalty on Saturday flew into the net at a lightning-quick 125 km/h.