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Robben interview, part 1

‘The goal away to Schalke meant a lot to me’

Arjen Robben’s mazy dribbling, individual skill and instinct for goal played a major part in Bayern winning the domestic double and reaching the Champions League final in 2010. The Dutch ace also appeared for his country in the World Cup final. In part one of an exclusive interview, the 26-year-old reviewed one of the best spells in his career to date, but also discussed the lows of losing two finals and then spending months out of action.

Interview: Arjen Robben, part 1: Arjen, as we come to the end of 2010, what’s your personal assessment of the year?
Arjen Robben: It was very much a year of two halves for me. It could hardly have gone better up until the World Cup final. Then I spent the second part of the year working very hard, but not on the field of play, unfortunately.

Let’s start by talking about January through July. Was it one of the best spells in your career?
Could be, but that’s normal if you achieve almost everything you were hoping for. I won the league and the cup with Bayern, and we made the Champions League final. I reached the World Cup final with my national team, so that would all suggest it was my best-ever season.

Thomas Müller recently said that losing the Champions League final and Germany’s defeat to Spain at the World Cup still hurts. Do you feel the same way?
I’m still struggling to accept the two defeats in finals. I may never have chances like that again. Obviously, we at Bayern are hoping to reach the Champions League final again, but who knows whether we will? And the World Cup only comes round every four years. And then there’s the fact that we didn’t lose either final because our opponents were much, much better. We had chances in both finals, but we didn’t take them. To be frank, losing the World Cup final actually hurts a little bit more than the Champions League, because we had an outstanding season at Bayern and won trophies. But when I recall the World Cup, all I can think of is the final. Making the final witht eh Netherlands was an amazing achievement in itself, but you instinctively put all the other matches to one side.