Created on 16-12-2014 at 23:34 PM
Even the post-match doping control did not spoil Arjen Robben’s good mood. The Dutchman was beaming when he came out of the dressing room area at the Allianz Arena late on Tuesday evening - holding a bronze statue in his hand. “I’m totally delighted! This is something very special and I’m incredibly proud,” said the 30-year-old after picking up the 2014 Dutch Sports Personality of the Year award (Sportman van het jaar). “Receiving this wonderful trophy at the end of a year like this one is a huge compliment and tremendous recognition.”
This award will take pride of place in Robben’s trophy collection. “In Holland there are so many top athletes who won gold medals at the Winter Olympics,” said FCB’s wizard on the wing. He is the first player in 27 years and the fourth-ever professional footballer – after Ruud Gullit (1987), Johan Cruyff (1973, 1974) and Abe Lenstra (1951, 1952) - to finish in top spot for the award introduced in 1951. Gymnast Epke Zonderland won in the previous three years with speed skaters (17) and cyclists (16) most often topping the list.
Robben has rightly picked up this year’s award thanks to his outstanding performances for FC Bayern and the Netherlands. He led the Oranje to third place in last summer’s World Cup in Brazil and won the Bronze Ball as the third-best player of the tournament. Robben also finished third in the vote for European Footballer of the Year and he was on the 23-man shortlist for the Ballon d’Or. He won the double with FC Bayern and the fans voted him Player of the Season for the 2013/14 campaign.
100 goals for Bayern
“It was a great year,” declared Robben who is particularly “proud of the way we played in the first half of the season. Hats off to the team! We’ve had a great first half of the season!” Robben has been one of the key players in the team. Ahead of the award ceremony on Tuesday evening, Robben was once again a driving force and a goalscorer in the 2-0 victory over SC Freiburg. He netted the important opener on 41 minutes - his eleventh goal of the season (FCB top scorer alongside Müller and Götze) – and, in his 184th competitive match, goal number 100 in an FCB shirt.
“It wasn’t really my goal. It was a good attack and a great pass from the back, Franck set me up and I only had to nod it in,” said Robben, thanking his team-mates for providing a perfect assist for his headed goal. He wants to carry on where he left off after the winter break. “I always want to keep going. It’s the same for the team. We’re well aware we won’t get anything for nothing. We’ve got to do it for ourselves.”
The next opportunity is on Friday in the last game before the winter break away to Mainz. However, the newly-crowned top Dutch sportsman did not want to think about that just before midnight on Tuesday. “It’s a great night: three points, one goal and the hundredth for Bayern, plus sports personality of the year! I don’t think I’ll be able to sleep tonight,” said Robben with a broad smile on his face.