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SL Ballon D’Or Top 10 – Nr 5: Arjen Robben

The Holland and Bayern Munich winger, Arjen Robben, was voted world’s number 5 by the Soccer-Laduma journalists.

The 29-year-old is considered one of the best wingers of our time, but is continuously set back by injuries.

Robben is known for his tremendous speed and dribbling skills, which allow him to sprint down the right wing and then cut inside in on his left foot to place a low and accurate shot in the corner. A majority of his goals follow this pattern.

He started his professional career at Groningen in 2000 and signed two years later for PSV. In 2003, Robben became Netherlands’ Young Player of the Year and won an Eredivisie title and joined Chelsea in 2004.

Despite Robben’s Chelsea career being injury plagued, he won two consecutive Premier League titles before moving to Real Madrid for €35m in 2007.

At Bernabeau, he won the 2007-08 campaign and was a key performer in 2008-09, but he was “forced” to leave the Los Blancos when Cristiano Ronaldo and Kaka arrived in summer 2009.

The Dutch winger moved to Bayern Munich for €25m. In Germany, he won the domestic double with the Bavarians in his first season and was named 2010 Footballer of the Year.

He had a massive impact in Munich’s 2010 Champions League campaign, but couldn’t prevent the final defeat against to Jose Mourinho’s Inter. In the 2012 Champions League final, Robben famously missed an extra-time penalty against his former club Chelsea and the Germans were beaten at their own backyard in the following penalty shoot-out .

On international level, Robben has 73 caps for his country and scored 22 goals as well as 22 assists since debuting during EURO 2004.

He played in all major competitions his country participated in, and became a symbol for Netherlands’ final loss to Spain in the 2010 World Cup final. In the 61st minute, he missed a one-on-one won goal scoring opportunity against Spain goalkeeper, Iker Casillas, and later said he was haunted by this chance.

His fortunes changed last season, when Bayern Munich won the German double in record-breaking manner and finally the Champions League in their third final appearance in four years.

Despite Robben again missing some earlier parts of the 2012-13 season due to injury, he came back in the later stages of the season and with two goals had a massive part in Munich’s 7-0 dismantling of title holders, Barcelona.

In the subsequent 2013 Champions League final, he assisted the opening goal and scored the deciding 2-1 to give Bayern their fifth European Cup and was named Man of the Match by UEFA.

Bayern went on to win the European Super Cup at the beginning of the new season and recently the FIFA Club World Cup as fifth title in the clubs most successful year in its history, but Robben missed the latter competition due to injury.

The Dutchman either scored or assisted a goal in almost every competitive game he played for Munich and has also featured regularly under Pep Guardiola this season, scoring 13 goals in all competitions so far.

However, he again suffered an injury, but Pep Guardiola hopes for a quick return of his winger. The new Bayern manager recently publically declared: “I’m in love with Robben!”

There is nothing more to say, besides Arjen Robben’s deserves to be one of three Bayern Munich players in Soccer-Laduma’s world’stop 10.

By David Kappel

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