Arjen Robben life and biography

Arjen Robben picture, image, poster

Arjen Robben biography

Date of birth : 1984-01-23
Date of death : -
Birthplace : Bedum, Netherlands
Nationality : Dutch
Category : Sports
Last modified : 2010-06-14
Credited as : Football player Netherlands team, Bayern Munich soccer club, FIFA World Cup

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Arjen Robben (born 23 January 1984) is a Dutch footballer who plays for the German Bundesliga club Bayern Munich. Though often classified as a forward, he usually plays behind the forwards as a winger. He is also a part of the Netherlands national team and has appeared at Euro 2004, the 2006 World Cup and Euro 2008.

Robben first came to prominence with Groningen, for whom he was player of the year for the 2000–01 Eredivisie season. Two years later he signed for PSV, where he became the Netherlands' Young Player of the Year and won an Eredivisie medal. The following season Robben's signature was pursued by leading English clubs, and after protracted transfer negotiations he joined Chelsea in the 2004 close season.

Robben's Chelsea debut was delayed through injury, but upon returning to fitness he helped Chelsea to consecutive Premier League titles, and was the FA Premier League Player of the Month in November 2005. After a third season in England which was punctuated by injury, Robben moved to Spanish club Real Madrid for €35 million. In August 2009, Robben transferred to Bayern Munich for a fee of around €25 million, scoring two goals on his debut. In his first season in Munich, Bayern won the league title, Robben's fifth league title in eight years.

One of the first names on the team-sheet for the Netherlands, when fit, Robben has the power and pace to devastate any defence. With one goal and four assists in qualifying he has proved to be a valuable weapon on the road to South Africa. He was the match-winner against Norway in June, inspiring the Dutch to a 2-0 win by creating the opener for Andre Ooijer before adding the second himself. He also grabbed two assists in a 4-0 win over Macedonia and another as Holland beat Scotland convincingly.

The winger spent the early part of his career with Groningen and PSV Eindhoven but it was not until he signed for Premier League side Chelsea for £12 million in the summer of 2004 that he truly hit the European stage. After a delayed debut at the Bridge due to a broken metatarsal, Robben then burst into the English game to damaging effect with performances full of speed and skill. Sadly for Robben that first season in London was probably his best as a series of injuries limited his involvement in a side which would win two Premier League titles.

He left Chelsea in 2007 to join Real Madrid in a £24 million deal. The Dutchman's first season in La Liga was spectacular, with the Spanish press locked in debate over whether Robben or Barcelona adversary Lionel Messi was the best player in the league. Real Madrid would win the Primera Liga title ahead of Barca.

Robben became one of the surprise casualties of Florentino Perez's new galacticos era at the Bernabeu in the summer of 2009, following the signings of Cristiano Ronaldo, Kaka and Karim Benzema. Though the left-winger did not want to leave the club he had no choice and moved to Bundesliga club Bayern Munich, scoring twice on his debut against champions VfL Wolfsburg.

Strengths: Able to take on and beat defenders at the drop of a hat, Robben's ability to get to the byline and deliver in accurate crosses instils fear into any defence.

Weaknesses: For a player with such a direct and dangerous style, he perhaps does not score enough goals. He netted 11 in 50 games for Real though his return on the international stage is more impressive.

Career high: Scoring the winning penalty against Sweden in the quarter-finals of Euro 2004 in Faro. It was the first time the Dutch had won a shootout.

Career low: Missing Chelsea's run to the semi-finals of the Champions League in 2004-05 due to injury.

Style: Pace, acceleration and creativity, Robben is always a threat on the left wing.

Quotes: "He confirmed his class. We should all be proud that he plays for us now. It's really tough to do what he did. Three days ago, he was a Madrid player. He came here a day ago, didn't know anyone bar his new coach and one or two team-mates and to perform like this. It's mindboggling." Bayern Munich coach Louis van Gaal, August 2009, after Robben scored twice on his debut.

Trivia: Robben is married to childhood sweetheart Bernadien Eillert.

Soccernet says: If the Dutch are to follow up their 100% record in qualifying much will depend upon the form and fitness of the flying winger.

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