Robben: I aim to leave with at least one trophy
He is Mr. Wembley, he fired FC Bayern to Champions League glory in 2013 and he’s been the face of the record champions for nearly a decade. “Arjen has been an extremely important and highly rated player since 2009. We’ve won everything there is to win in world football with him. I hope he can add to his trophy collection in his tenth season here,” commented chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge.
In our fcbayern.com interview, Robben explains why he’s leaving FC Bayern this summer and what he plans to do next. In addition the 34-year-old speaks about what Munich means to him and who could follow in his footsteps.
Interview with Arjen Robben
Arjen, in the summer your time at FC Bayern will come to an end after ten years. How did you reach this decision?
Arjen Robben: “Obviously you think a lot about the future. This was the case last year, but we extended another year. This year we’ve spoken about it again and I’ve decided it’s time. Ten years has been an amazing and long period. I’m 35 in the summer and I think it’s right for everyone - for me and the team. It’s also a question of intuition. I’m still very happy at the club, but the time comes when you realise it’s OK to finish.”
Do you also want to end your playing career?
Arjen Robben: “That’s still open, anything could still happen. Now was the right time to announce my departure. For the fans and the club everything is clear and everyone knows it’s over at the end of the season. I have time to think about my future and what the next step will be. It’s possible that I’ll retire. It could also be good to continue, if something interesting comes up.”
Last Tuesday you scored twice in the Champions League, physically you’re still fit. Should you stop if you’re at your best?
Arjen Robben: “I’m thankful that at 34 I can still perform at this level as a winger. That’s something special and it makes me happy. It would be different if someone said it wasn't going well any more and I had to stop. I think it’s better this way. It’s good.”
After nearly a decade here, what do Munich and FC Bayern mean to you?
Arjen Robben: “So much! And for my family as well. Ten years is a very long time, two of my children were born here. I’m very thankful to the club. I’ve felt so much support and warmth from the city, the people here and our fans. I’m happy to have become a part of this club and made my contribution here.”
Franck Ribéry and yourself have defined an era here at FC Bayern. Are you confident young players like Serge Gnabry or Kingsley Coman will be just as successful?
Arjen Robben: “I hope so from the bottom of my heart. It’s down to the young players themselves. They have a long journey ahead of them, but they have plenty of talent. The talent isn’t just in our positions though. I hope FC Bayern further develop as a club. When you speak about our positions with Serge and King [Coman], they’re two very good players. They want to improve, they want to prove themselves and they work hard. They’ve got great character as well. That makes me pleased. I hope they develop more in this way and play an important role in the club.”
Do you have any tips for the pair on their journey?
Arjen Robben: “We work and talk together every day. When it’s necessary you give tips, because you’ve got the experience in that position. But at the end of the day you need to work things out for yourself as a player. You need to gain experience, work hard, never be satisfied and always try to improve and perform for the team.”
What are your aims for your final months at FC Bayern?
Arjen Robben: “It’s a bit strange. We’re already talking about saying goodbye but the team has plenty of ambition and I do as well. It makes me happy to see that I can still deliver a top performance in a big European game against Benfica - and may that continue. I hope to play an important role right to the end to help the team. My goal is to leave with at least one trophy in the summer.”