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'It wasn’t complicated'

Robben eager for last eight clash

When he woke up on Thursday morning, Arjen Robben did not feel any different compared to any previous day. The day after he extended his stay at FC Bayern until 2017 was a completely normal one for the 30-year-old. “I was already happy and now I’m even happier,” said Robben after the Thursday training session at the Säbener Strasse before adding: “I’m glad I can play here for another three years. I will have been here for eight years and no other Dutchman has managed that before.”

The Holland captain described his move from Real Madrid to Munich in the summer of 2009 as “a really good decision. That was the best move of my career.” Robben is at home at Bayern, as he willingly explained: “I feel absolutely brilliant at this club and the mutual appreciation is very high.” So it comes as no surprise that the contract negotiations were “uncomplicated. We had two good meetings and that was that.”

Robben can now focus completely on the business end of the season. The draw for the quarter-finals of the Champions League takes place on Friday and the scorer of last year’s winning goal at Wembley will then know the next hurdle for the title holders on the road to the final in Lisbon. Robben has no preferences. “There are eight top teams in the hat so there will be four top games. Whatever happens, happens. I’m just looking forward to the two matches.”

Form on the day and details decide

The main factor for Bayern ahead of the quarter-final encounters is “keeping up the rhythm and tempo to ensure we’re well prepared for the Champions League.” The fact that FCB “are on fire at the moment” with a 23-point lead at the top of the Bundesliga is “irrelevant” for a UCL quarter final. Robben’s team-mate Toni Kroos shares that assessment and also believes the last eight “has never before involved so many good teams.”

Kroos is convinced “form on the day” plays an important role in a knockout tie over two legs. Robben mentioned “little details” that could prove decisive in these games. The winger emphasised the need to “concentrate on our own performance and not on the other teams. We have to play with bags of confidence and then we won’t need to worry about the other seven.”

Robben revealed that the team will watch the draw together on Friday before the final pre-match training session ahead of the away game at Mainz. And regardless of who Bayern play in the next round of the Champions League: Robben will feel just the same the morning after as he does on any other day.