Arjen Robben didn’t think he’d be with Bayern Munich for a decade, but as he nears another season with the Bundesliga champions, the star believes joining the club was the best decision of his career.
Robben came up with Eredivisie side Groningen as a teenager before moving to PSV in 2002. That was followed by a transfer to Chelsea in 2004, where he won a pair of Premier League titles, an FA Cup and two League Cups with the Blues.
The retired Netherlands international then moved to Real Madrid, winning a La Liga title in his two seasons with the capital club.
Robben went on to join the Bundesliga club in 2009 and not only has it resulted in a stay longer than he imagined, his time in Bavaria has won him over after an admittedly skeptical beginning.
“No, I don't think so – but then again, yes,” Robben told Bayern Munich's official website when asked if he thought he’d remain with the club this long. “I'm always a realist, and I know the world of football is fast-moving. It could have been different.”
However, as he recounted his journey, Robben deemed the decision to be the best one he’s made in his long footballing career.
“After my debut as a pro for Groningen I was at Eindhoven for two years. It was a big step for me in the Netherlands: to leave home at the age of 18. I went abroad when I was 20, three years at Chelsea, a big club. Then two years at Madrid.
“Then Bayern approached me and I made the decision. I was skeptical at the beginning, I didn't know whether it was the right decision. I can now say: it was the best decision in my career.”
Robben, who signed on for another season with the Bundesliga champions in May after speculation he would depart the club, and will be looking to build on a resume that has six straight Bundesliga titles and seven overall, four DFB Pokals and a Champions League crown.
And Robben says he and his team-mates are ready to go, with match practice the only thing lacking for them at the moment.
“We're on a good path but of course there's room for improvement,” he said. “We haven't been working with the full squad for a long time, a big part only joined at the Tegernsee Lake.
“There's room for improvement, now we need match practice. But we're still ready for the Bundesliga restart.”
Robben also is setting the sights high, hoping to take home every piece of silverware available to Bayern.
When asked what he’d like the headline to be at the end of the season, Robben replied: “It was a superb season from Bayern. They won everything there was to win. The played outstanding football, beating everyone.”