Monday, 6 May 2019

Bayern Munich's Arjen Robben: "I've fought really hard to get back on the pitch"

Bayern Munich winger Arjen Robben has admitted that he had to fight tooth and nail to make his long-awaited comeback from injury on Matchday 32, a matter of weeks before his glittering 10-year spell with the record Bundesliga champions comes to an end.

Robben replaced Kingsley Coman in the final minutes of Bayern's 3-1 win over bottom club Hannover, which keeps them on course for a seventh consecutive league title.

It was the 35-year-old's first Bundesliga appearance since late November, with a series of injury problems casting doubts over whether he would be able to say a fitting farewell to the Allianz Arena after it was announced in December that he would leave the club at the end of the season.

"I can't really describe it," Robben told "I'm just really, really thankful. It's the only word that I can think of: thankful! I've done everything to get here. I've trained and fought really hard in the last weeks and months, to get back to the pitch. Sadly it was only five minutes of playing time, but it was still a special moment."

It was a landmark outing for the flying Dutchman, who has now made 700 competitive appearances at club and international level during his stellar career. He has played 306 of those games for Bayern, scoring or setting up no fewer than 245 goals and winning trophies galore: seven Bundesliga titles, four DFB Cups and the UEFA Champions League.

Nobody in Bavaria will ever forget his last-minute winner against Borussia Dortmund in the 2013 Champions League showpiece, the crowning moment of their historic treble-winning campaign.

A club legend of Robben's stature deserves to go out with a bang, and Bayern will be hoping to send him on his way later this month with an eighth Bundesliga winners' medal. Germany's 2010 Player of the Year is also sitting tantalisingly on 199 Bundesliga appearances and 98 Bundesliga goals.

What better way to round out a glorious decade than by ticking over to a ton of top-flight strikes in this season's final encounters against RB Leipzig and Eintracht Frankfurt?

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