Robben vows to bounce back from Euro non-qualification humiliation
Munich, July 18 (IANS) Battling injury, winger Arjen Robben has said he is not mulling retirement from international football as the Netherlands failed to qualify for the Euro championship. He said he expects his national team to put the ignominy behind them.
The 32-year-old missed the major part of Bayern Munich’s last season and the Euro qualifiers due to groin injury. Last weekend he was again diagnosed with the same problem that ruled him out for at least another six weeks, fuelling rumours about his future both at the club and the Netherlands.
However, he refuted the rumours by saying that he still has a lot of fire left in his belly to bounce back and compete also for the national team.
Robben also said the Euro disappointment won’t drive him to retire from international football and that the team would come back stronger leaving the disappointment behind.
“We talked about the normal amount of frustration already but there has been no thoughts at all of retiring. I’m the captain of the Dutch team and it’s something I’m proud of. We have many talented players in the Netherlands. And I am sure we will return more successfully in the near future,” Robben, who has scored 30 goals in 88 matches for his country, told Xinhua on Sunday.
“Nobody in the Netherlands was happy about the situation. We somehow knew all the time that we have to be part of it. But we didn’t make it and we were deeply disappointed. But things like that happen and the only thing that helps is to concentrate on the future,” he added.
The former PSV Eindhoven, Real Madrid and Chelsea player also clarified that he will stay at Bayern Munich, where his contract runs till 2017.
“I can assure you that it is not another sportsman’s secret. I’ve got absolutely no plans to leave Bayern Munich. What’s in my mind is to get back to a top level when it comes to my fitness and get as much match practice as I can before the season kicks-off,” Robben said.
“I think the club and I have a very good relationship and many aims we’re aiming to achieve together. To stay longer than 2017 is an option, of course. But at the moment it’s not a topic in my mind,” he added.
“We want to get to know our new coach and as for me I want to get back to a top level. I know I still have a lot to give to the team and I’m looking forward to winning more titles with Bayern Munich.”
Robben said it has been great working with a world class coach like Carlo Ancelotti, who took over the reins at Bayern this year, after Pep Guardiola made a move to English giants Manchester City.
“The first days have been very good, but that was nothing unexpected. He is a world class coach and it is great to work with him. But I’m sure I didn’t tell you any sportsmen’s secrets,” Robben said.
Asked about the goal ahead of the new club football season, Robben said the aim was to win the domestic league, German Cup and the UEFA Champions League.
“That is normal for a club like Bayern Munich and a coach like Carlo Ancelotti. By the way winning the treble is nothing different compared to a coach like Pep Guardiola,” he said.
“Every season we have the same goal, to get into the final and win this last important game. I think for a club like Bayern, it’s realistic to talk about reaching the Champions League final every season. It’s something that makes us proud and is proof of the squad’s special class.”
Robben also felt the addition of Mats Hummels to the squad would further strengthen the defence.
“Honestly we know everyone will be especially ambitious to beat us, but with Mats Hummels, Bayern has another world class player in its squad,” Robben added.