Ahead of City vs. FCB
Sun, 09/04/23, 09:30
Arjen Robben: A top match that could also be the final
"Winning the Champions League is the greatest thing a player or a club can achieve," says Bayern legend Arjen Robben in an interview with fcbayern.com. The 39-year-old should know, as he won the coveted trophy with the Munich club after scoring the winning goal in the 2013 final. In a total of 110 matches in the UEFA Champions League, the Dutchman recorded 31 goals and 24 assists. Ahead of Bayern's crunch quarter-final with Manchester City, we spoke to Mr. Wembley, who also spent three years in England from 2004 to 2007 at Chelsea, about the top clash, former coach Pep Guardiola and the legend of Europe's premier club competition.
Interview with Arjen Robben
Servus Arjen, who do you think are the favourites in the Champions League quarter-final clash between FC Bayern and Manchester City?
Arjen Robben: "It's definitely a top match that could also be the final. It's going to be very interesting and I'm already looking forward to watching it."
You had some very good experiences against Manchester City in your career, winning six out of seven games.
"Yes, Bayern better sign me again, Thomas Tuchel can call me anytime (laughs). No, joking aside, I can't do that anymore."
What memories do you have of the games at the Etihad Stadium and against the Cityzens?
"Mainly nice memories. The first one that comes to mind straight away is the 3-1 away win with Bayern in the Champions League in 2013. That was an absolute top game from us. In general, the atmosphere in England with the fans is nice, it's always special when you play there."
Your former coach at Bayern, Pep Guardiola, is in the dugout at City. What makes him special?
"He can set up his team very well. I have a huge amount of respect for his work. No matter where he works, you can see his hallmark. The three years with him were a special time for me. I enjoyed it immensely. I've had a lot of terrific coaches, and purely from a footballing point of view, he was the best for me."
How do you rate Bayern's two convincing wins in the round of 16 against Paris Saint-Germain?
"PSG have a lot of individual quality, and maybe even have the best players in the world in their side. But Bayern operate very well as a team and deserved to progress."
Three Italian teams, Real Madrid, Chelsea and Benfica complete the quarter-final line-up. Who do you think FC Bayern's main rivals are in the battle for the trophy?
"The possible semi-final pairings have already been drawn. On one side of the road to the final are three Italian teams, among which Napoli stand out. They're playing very, very well and are really impressing this season. They could be the surprise team. On the other side, two favourites, Bayern and City, go head-to-head. And Real Madrid are still Real Madrid. Even though they trail Barcelona in the Spanish league, they're always a force to be reckoned with. They're also capable of winning the competition again this season."
Does the Champions League have a special appeal for you? What did this competition mean to you during your playing days?
"This competition, with its distinctive anthem before the game, is something very special. Winning the Champions League is the greatest thing a player or a club can achieve. You come up against the best teams and the best players in the world. You give your all in your career and work hard every day to be able to play in this competition. That's what you dream of as a little kid. On this stage, you want to deliver your best performance even more. Fortunately, we did that many times."
In Part 1 of the interview, the Champions League winner talked about the recent clash against Dortmund: