Blog Archives

Arjen Robben’s Final Finishing Touch

Arjen Robben, the 35-year-old Mr. Wembley himself, has officially retired from professional soccer that began in 2000 with Dutch club Groningen.

“I have decided to put an end to my career as a professional football player,” Robben said in a statement.

His statement included the following.

“It is without doubt the most difficult decision I have had to make in my career. A decision in which ‘heart’ and ‘mind’ collided.”

The former Bayern Munich #10 — as well as the #11 for the Netherlands National Team and Real Madrid, and various other numbers for Chelsea, PSV and Groningen — has chosen to end his esteemed professional playing career after 19 years. Mr. Robben’s exciting style, though painfully obvious, was painfully lethal for opponents. It didn’t matter if every defender and their grandmother knew he was going to cut inside for a deftly-placed shot or pass, Arjen Robben succeeded with beautiful, spectacular goals.

And that feat alone is remarkable. Think about it. Imagine knowing exactly what you have to do to stop something from happening, but being powerless to stop it from happening?

That, ladies and gentlemen, is another level of world-class talent.

That, ladies and gentlemen, is Arjen Robben.

This blog post is difficult for me as Arjen Robben is my favorite soccer player of all-time. And now the left-footed maestro is done.

It’s trying to put everything into words because I could go on and on and on…Instead, I’ll put just a few things into words as an initial reaction.

I’ve written many blog posts about him with Bayern Munich and the Netherlands throughout the years, including one in late May as a reaction to his final chapter with Bayern Munich.

Here’s an excerpt.

I actually got to see Arjen Robben play in the Allianz Arena for a Champions League game against Atlético Madrid back in late 2016. Bayern Munich won 1-nil on a Robert Lewandowski goal in, let’s say, chilly weather. I believe the thermometer read 20-degrees.

Regardless of having to wear a couple extra layers, which was no big deal at all for the awesome prize of seeing Arjen Robben and Bayern Munich battle (and defeat!) Atlético Madrid in a Champions League match inside the stunning Allianz Arena in Munich. The entire experience was amazingly unforgettable.

His wonderfully impressive tenure leading the Dutch National Team as part of the golden generation with Wesley Sneijder and Robin van Persie won’t soon be forgotten.

This golden generation for the Oranje played the beautiful game the right way. They deserved to win the World Cup, most especially the team from 2014. However, falling just short of ultimate soccer glory just seems to fit with the unfortunate fortune of the Dutch National Team: The best soccer nation to have never won the World Cup and the soccer nation other winners model their teams after in the same glorious pursuit.

With the aforementioned golden generation, the Dutch reached the semifinal of the 2014 FIFA World Cup, played in the 2010 FIFA World Cup final against Spain and reached the quarterfinals of the 2008 UEFA Euro tournament.

As posted on Bleacher Report’s Twitter account today:

Arjen Robben will be remembered as a legend at Bayern Munich, highlighted by his iconic cuts inside and laser-focused blasts that rattled many nets across Europe. His greatest moment with FC Hollywood was his unforgettable game-winning goal against Borussia Dortmund in the 2013 UEFA Champions League Final with an assist from his Robbery partner-in-crime Franck Henry Pierre Ribéry in the 89th minute in front of over 86,000 fans packed into London’s Wembley Stadium.

Arjen Robben will be remembered as a legend and an icon with the Netherlands. His lasting legacy will be as one of the — if not the greatest — wingers of all-time.

Thank you, Arjen Robben. You are an original, world-class footballer. 

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A Robbery Happening in Munich

So, this is what Arjen Robben and Franck Ribéry (Robbery) do for fun at the Bayern Munich training grounds now that they’re not playing for the club anymore…

I have no words, except the ones I just wrote to tell you that I have no words.

While I’m at it, thank you Arjen Robben + Franck Ribéry for making the perfect soccer superhero at Bayern Munich for the past decade who went by the name Robbery and was faster than any defender(s) on the pitch, more powerful than any team’s motive to stop them and could lift the ball into the uppermost corner of the goal.

P.S. Bayern Munich is the coolest soccer club in the world. I think it’s pretty obvious why ladies and gentlemen. 

The Flying Dutchman Is Departing From Munich

Arjen Robben, the 35-year-old Dutch soccer legend, played his final game for Bayern Munich this past Saturday in the DFB Cup (German Cup) that saw the Bundesliga champions deliver a dominating 3-nil win against RB Leipzig that led to Bayern Munich hoisting that golden trophy.

Ending a 10-year career in Bavaria, Robben showcased his skills throughout the past decade throughout Germany, as well as before then with teams in Spain, England, and Holland. Of course, there are just a few highlights out there of when he’d start on the right side of the pitch and then cut inside to his favorable left foot for either a rocket of a shot back post.

Just a few.

Quick Stat: Arjen Robben scored 99 goals in the Bundesliga and nearly earned his 100th on a couple of occasions in his final league match a week and a half ago.

I could go on and on and on…and on about the properly rated and interestingly underrated talent of Arjen Robben in the era of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. For starters, with help from “Robbery” partner in crime Franck Ribéry, Robben helped define Bayern Munich for the past decade.

Here’s “Robbery” in action against Manchester United in a 2010 Champions League match in Old Trafford.

And then there’s the 2012/2013 season in which Bayern Munich won the amazing treble (Bundesliga, German Cup, Champions League) with help from, guess who?

But now it’s time to say a Bavarian goodbye to Mr. Wembley (or The Flying Dutchman) as we wait for him to announce his future plans, which will either be retirement or one final tour of playing with a not-yet-determined club. I actually got to see Arjen Robben play in the Allianz Arena for a Champions League game against Atlético Madrid back in late 2016. Bayern Munich won 1-nil on a Robert Lewandowski goal in, let’s say, chilly weather. I believe the thermometer read 20-degrees.

Regardless of having to wear a couple extra layers, which was no big deal at all for the awesome prize of seeing Arjen Robben and Bayern Munich battle (and defeat!) Atlético Madrid in a Champions League match inside the stunning Allianz Arena in Munich. The entire experience was amazingly unforgettable.

Returning back to the Bavarian goodbye, Bayern Munich produced a fitting farewell with words of gratitude from the star winger.

Until next season, Arjen Robben?

It Was #GiveFansGoalsOnTuesday for Bayern Munich

A win is a win is a win…

but is a win enough?

The Niko Kovač-led Bayern Munich squad in 2018–we’ll wait and see who the club’s coach is in the spring and fall of 2019–has received understandable pressure from the press and fans alike after a subpar beginning to the 2018/2019 campaign. Sitting at 21 points after 12 matches, which is nine-points out of first-place to heated domestic rival Borussia Dortmund, the Bavarian giants have showcased uncharacteristic weakness and lack of comprehensive identity.

It’s just not good enough.

So what better time (and competition) than the Champions League match against the visiting Portuguese side Benfica to reassert its dominance for 90 minutes?

Ladies and gentlemen, when you score off a short corner–a kiss of death for scoring 99.99% of the time–then you know the game is going your way.

A brace (2 goals) for the ageless #10 Arjen Robben and relentless #9 Robert Lewandowski led the Bavarians to an emphatic 5-1 victory at the Allianz Arena. The Frenchman #7 Franck Ribéry added a laser of a goal in the 76′ for good measure.

Bayern Munich has proven that a win is, in fact, a win. However, is this one win enough to get Mr. Kovač off the hot seat?

No.

Will the remainder of the 2018/2019 season be slowed down to analyzing this Bayern Munich squad, as managed by the enigmatic Niko Kovač, with a tirelessly critical eye on a game-by-game basis?

Yes.

Welcome to FC Hollywood, Mr. Kovač.

P.S. Regardless of what the Bayern Munich business leaders are saying to the press regarding their coach’s job security, accomplished manager Carlo Ancelotti can attest that it’s the Bayern Munich locker room that will ultimately decide their manager’s fate.