Arjen Robben′s lasting legacy at Bayern Munich | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 06.11.2017
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Arjen Robben's lasting legacy at Bayern Munich

Arjen Robben's goal against Borussia Dortmund made him the club's top foreign scorer of all time. The Dutchman's record-breaking feats with Bayern prove that he's more than just a master of the cut-and-curl.

"It's a trademark left-footed finish", is a line that's often been heard during Arjen Robben's time gracing football pitches around the world, but one that only scratches the surface of one of the most illustrious careers of a generation.

Heynckes lends a helping hand

Like several members of Bayern's star-studded squad, Robben has produced fresh impetus since returning to the more familiar influence of Jupp Heynckes, as evidenced by his performance in Der Klassiker.

The 33-year-old once again delivered against Borussia Dortmund and usurped Giovane Elber as the club's highest-scoring foreign player when the 93rd league goal of his Bayern career broke the deadlock. A feat that has firmly cemented his reputation as one most influential players in the German record titleholders' history books.

"93 goals, that's not nothing," Robben told the assembled press at the Signal Iduna Park with a grin on his face. "It's two records in one. The second record is for the most Bundesliga goals scored by a Dutchman. Willi Lippens of Rot-Weiß Essen had it before me. That's a wonderful validation of my long time here."

Fit and firing on all cylinders

For eight years Robben has dazzled and frustrated Bundesliga fans in equal measure. Much like his trademark move, he has carved out an indelible legacy with the Bavarian giants, one which goes far beyond his ruthless nature as a cut-and-curl winger. His time with Bayern will be remembered for its loyalty, match-winning moments and, unfortunately, injuries. At present though, they appear to be a thing of the past.

"I'm delighted, we're enjoying ourselves again, but what I'm most pleased about is that I'm still fit after playing to the final whistle of every game since the new head coach [Heynckes] came back," admitted the Bedum native. "But that's why I need a break, which will do me good. To be this fit still at 33 – that's the best part!"

While neutrals cope with the emotional struggle of respecting, but fearing his talents, the 33-year-old's fan-favourite status amongst Bayern fans is unquestioned. He earned the nickname "Mr. Wembley" following his match-winning heroics in the 2013 UEFA Champions League final. His time in Munich, however, is not defined by one match, but by his ambition.

"Arjen was always a footballer who wanted to be better and to win more titles," his father Hans said in a recent interview with the Süddeutsche Zeitung. "He's never lost that desire to improve. In Munich he realized that he could help to make several special years possible."

Robben: "Perhaps this will be my final season?"

Set to turn 34 soon after the turn of the year, Robben remains as ambitious as ever and is enjoying some of the best football of his career. However, with his contract due to run out in the summer, questions still surround Robben's future.

Deutschland Bundesliga Bayern München gegen Freiburg (Getty Images/AFP/G. Schiffmann)

Arjen Robben has scored 93 goals and chipped in with 59 assists in 177 Bundesliga matches.

"He's in top form," former Bayern midfielder Michael Ballack told TZ. "His contract is running out, but that only adds fuel to his fire. He's a leader at the club even during the tough times. The question is whether Bayern want to keep moving forward with him. I'm wondering why they haven't extended his contract yet."

Club chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has admitted that Bayern need to "define the future role of Arjen Robben", but with a new head coach set to join on a permanent basis in the summer he could be seen as a member of the old guard not in keeping with the club's long-term plans.

"Perhaps this will be my final season? It could be! It's something you've got to feel out. It's part of life", Robben told the Süddeutsche Zeitung.

Titles, impact and longevity - the Dutchman has ticked all the boxes during his time in Munich. Should this be his final season, Robben's legacy will ultimately be synonymous with one of the most successful era's of German football's most prestigious club.

 

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