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Best outfield player

Arjen aims for crowning glory

Arjen Robben has been at Bayern for five years, the longest stay at a single club in his pro career. The 30-year-old left Real Madrid for FCB in August 2009, “and it was the best decision of my life,” he recently said. The Dutch ace has won almost everything there is to win in club football since then, so it was hardly a surprise when he signed a two-year extension to his current contract two months ago, keeping him in Munich until June 2017 

And Robben’s personal stats show just how much he is at home with Germany’s biggest club, as the 2013/14 campaign was in many respects his best so far. Arjen made his highest-ever total of 28 Bundesliga appearances. He scored 11 goals and provided seven assists, actually below his own personal best, but respected journal kicker ranked Robben the best outfield player in the league with an average rating per game of 2.47 out of six, earning him the title of top player of the season.

“It’s a great honour,” Arjen said on Monday, “I’m very pleased with the way the season went. The most important thing for me personally was playing all the way through.” The father of three missed only three games before Christmas after a collision with Augsburg keeper Marwin Hitz, “but otherwise I maintained my rhythm. If you feel good and settled you’ll give a good account of yourself,” he remarked.

A question of mental strength

Although he is still fresh from celebrating his third Bundesliga title with Bayern, he now intends to add DFB cup honours against Borussia Dortmund this Saturday. “If we perform to our potential and play as a team we have it in us to win the cup,” Robben stated. Completing the domestic double with a victory over BVB would be “the crowning glory” for the club. “It’s a very good season, and if we win the cup we can call it superb.“

However, the winger said, FCB can take nothing for granted in their third major final against Dortmund in the last three seasons. “We know all about their quality. They’re a superb team, so we know what to expect,” Robben warned. BVB comfortably won the most recent Bundesliga meeting at the Allianz Arena a few weeks ago, so Munich will not take much motivating prior to the Berlin Olympiastadion clash. “We’re playing a great team, and those are always the matches you look forward to,” he said.

Skill alone will not make the difference between victory or defeat in the final, Robben feels. “We can all play football, but every final is about passion, courage, and giving everything you’ve got,” the Netherlands regular commented. “It’s almost more about mental strength than football.” He himself is in fine shape prior to the last game of the domestic season: “I’m feeling really good at the moment, I’m fresh and I have energy to spare.“