6 questions for World Cup winger Arjen Robben
The talented Netherlands player answers the question we’ve all wanted to ask… Does he have a right foot?EDGAR staff June 21, 2014
Can the Netherlands’ last gasp defeat in the 2010 World Cup final spur you on to success this summer?
I am proud that we reached the World Cup final in 2010, but even though I have had great success with Bayern since, it still hurts that we lost in Johannesburg. They were a smooth but deadly team who always looked for the right pass, so there was no disgrace losing. But to get so close and miss out was a shame. It was Holland’s third final and third defeat. I feel my job is to make certain we have chance to reach a fourth final, and win it.
Frank Lampard may be appearing in his final World Cup. What are your views on him?
I really enjoyed playing with Frank Lampard when we were together at Chelsea. He was tough and cunning in central midfield, but also made his presence felt going forward. Now he has matured into a very shrewd operator, and times his forward runs carefully. Of course I was devastated to lose the 2012 Champions League final, but at least the team that beat us, Chelsea, contained a great champion like Frank. Much as I was distraught, I was happy for him.
Your Netherlands team knocked Brazil out of the 2010 World Cup. Is that a lucky omen?
I hope the locals have conveniently forgotten the 2010 World Cup quarter-final! I hope they are philosophical about it and say “these things happen”. Naturally I don’t expect that. The people of Brazil are crazy about the Selecao and it was a huge blow for the nation when we knocked them out. The team has changed a lot since then, many of the guys we beat have gone. There are a lot of quality new players like Oscar, plus those who have been around for a while but still have a big influence, like Fred and Dani Alves.
You’ve played in many different countries. How has that helped you in your career?
I have learned something from every team and league I have played in. In the Netherlands we love tactics but also enjoy positive bold football. That’s how I grew up loving to attack at every opportunity and express myself. When I went to England with Chelsea I discovered the physical side of the game, which helped me toughen up and look after myself. The pressure that comes with playing for Real Madrid in La Liga has helped me cope with big games and intense scrutiny. And the German attitude of never giving up and working very professionally has improved me further. The Bundesliga is also physically demanding so you have to be fit and live like an athlete to compete.
Playing at your level, Champions League, Bundesliga and international tournaments, must be stressful. What do you do to relax?
I love playing tennis. I can’t play as much as I’d like because I don’t want to tire myself or pick up any injuries which would affect my football. But it’s one of my favourite hobbies. If I need to let off steam at the World Cup I might find a tennis court and have a couple of rallies. Who knows, the tennis courts in Brazil are probably very different to the ones I’m used to in Germany and the Netherlands, I could really develop my game, and become a master of all surfaces!
And finally... will you use your right foot to surprise us one day?
I think my left foot is good enough, don’t you? When the situation demands it I use my right, but the left has helped me out in so many big games, I can’t abandon it. My right foot certainly isn’t just for standing on, but when there is serious work to be done, the left rarely lets me down.
Arjen Robben is an Adidas player.