On 23 January 1984 in Bedum, Netherlands the greatest left foot to grace football was born, 35 glorious years later that left foot has retired.
Let’s take a dive through his long & prosperous career.
Robben started his footballing career off at Groningen where he played 40+ games for the 1st team and contributed with 8 goals. It’s also where he developed his legendary style of cutting inside from the right onto his left foot and smashing in some world class goals.
Robben earned a move to PSV for €3.9 million before the 2002–03 season, where he racked up 56 games & 18 goals after forming a deadly duo with MatejaKežman as they got dubbed Batman & Robben. During his 2 years with PSV, he won the PSV co-player of the year & Talented Player of the Year award.
In 2004 he signed with Chelsea for around €18 million & he racked up 15 goals in 67 games. He was at Chelsea between 2004-2007 where his career was filled with glory despite being nagged by injuries along the way.
Robben completed his move to Real Madrid on a five-year deal on 22 August 2007 for €35 million. He played 50 games and scored 11 goals during his time in Spain. He was a force on the left side of Madrid’s midfield but unfortunately, the signings of Cristiano Ronaldo and Kaká cut his time in the Spanish capital short as he was sold in 2009.
On 28 August 2009, Robben moved to Bayern Munich for around €25 million. He spent 10 glorious years in Germany scoring 99 goals in 201 appearances. He solidified himself as Bayern’s 1st choice winger and created a deadly attack with Franck Ribéry, Robert Lewandowski & Thomas Müller, together they dominated German football for years.
He started his international career by playing for the Netherlands U15 team and quickly worked up through the youth sides and made it to the main team. He made 96 appearances overall for his country & helped with 37 goals. On 10 October 2017, Robben retired from international football after the team’s unsuccessful qualifying campaign. He never managed to win a trophy for his country as the closest he came was World Cup runner up in 2010 & 3rd place in the 2014 World Cup.
On 4 July 2019, Robben announced his decision to retire from football after 19 magnificent years of plying his trade to the game of football where he scored a total of 209 goals in 602 games & pitched in with 158 assists.In his career he won every trophy you could think of which include;
PSV – Eredivisie: 2002–03, Johan Cruyff Shield: 2003
Chelsea – Premier League: 2004–05, 2005–06, FA Cup: 2006–07, Football League Cup: 2004–05, 2006–07, FA Community Shield: 2005
Real Madrid– La Liga: 2007–08, Supercopa de España: 2008
Bayern Munich – Bundesliga: 2009–10, 2012–13, 2013–14, 2014–15, 2015–16, 2016–17, 2017–18, 2018–19, DFB-Pokal: 2009–10, 2012–13, 2013–14, 2015–16, 2018–19, DFL-Supercup: 2010, 2012, 2016, 2017, 2018·, UEFA Champions League: 2012–13, UEFA Super Cup: 2013
He also added an impressive number of individual awards to his already overflowing trophy cabinet.
- Johan Cruijff Prijs: 2002–03
- Premier League Player of the Month: November 2004, PFA Team of the Year: 2004–05 Premier League.
- ESM Team of the Year: 2004–05, 2009–10, 2014–15.
- Bravo Award: 2005.
- Goal of the Month in Germany: January 2010, March 2010, April 2010, February 2013.
- The kicker Man of the Year: 2010.
- Footballer of the Year in Germany: 2010.
- UEFA Best Player in Europe Award: 2013 (4th place), 2014 (3rd place), · UEFA Team of the Year: 2011, 2014, UEFA Champions League Team of the Season: 2013–14.
- FIFA World Cup Bronze Ball: 2014.
- FIFA World Cup All-Star Team: 2014.
- FIFA FIFPro World XI: 2014·.
- FIFA FIFPro World XI 4th team: 2013, 2015.
- FIFA Ballon d’Or: 4th place 2014.
- Dutch Sportsman of the year: 2014
It is fair to say we will never see another winger who can cut inside with precision & bang a screamer into the top corner with his left foot in football as graceful as Arjen Robben did it.