Arjen Robben says leaving Real Madrid for Bayern Munich was the best decision of his career, as the veteran forward prepares for the 2018-19 Bundesliga season to get underway. The 34-year-old retired from international duty last year and had been considering his future at club level before agreeing a one-year extension to remain at Allianz Arena.
Nine years in the Bundesliga
The winger has retained much of the pace while running with the ball that has made him so difficult for defenders to deal with throughout his impressive career. Speaking to Bayern's official website, the Dutchman was asked if, when he signed for the club in 2009, he expected to enjoy such a long and productive stay in Germany.
"No, I don't think so – but then again, yes," he replied. "I'm always a realist, and I know the world of football is fast-moving. It could have been different. 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 sceptical 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 has won the Bundesliga seven times and the Champions League once at Bayern, to go with Eredivisie, Premier League and LaLiga titles earned at PSV, Chelsea and Madrid, as well as the FA Cup and DFB-Pokal.