By Oliver Trust
BERLIN, Nov. 5 (Xinhua) -- 2017 German Champions Bayern Munich are celebrating their striker Arjen Robben. Despite him turning 34 in January 2018 the Dutchman is still desperate about winning titles.
Having scored the 1-0 lead against Borussia Dortmund (3-1) makes Robben the most successful foreign player in the history of the 2013 Champions League winners. Robben scored his 93rd league goal passing Brazilian striker Giovane Elber with 92. The forward is currently the most successful player in the German Bundesliga when it comes to achieving big chances.
The former Dutch international could soon be rewarded with a new contract. Many pundits and fans are convinced to see the best ever Robben at present.
34 is an age in professional sports not leaving much space for great dreams in the future. "You get aware of the time running out," says Arjen Robben. "I know time will come for Franck and me, sooner or later," Robben told German media talking about his future and the one of teammate Franck Ribery.
He might as well play his last season, Robben commented while his father and manager Hans reports about plans to take up talks with Bayern as early as next spring to negotiate a new contract.
Age does not count when it comes to success in football the 2010 World Cup runner-up is convinced. "You are either still in good shape, or you are not," Robben commented. His current coach Jupp Heynckes might count as a shining example as the 1974 world champion will turn 73 next May. Robben has made no secret wanting to end his career with another essential title.
"He is the first in the morning and the last one in the evening to leave," Heynckes reports. "He is still full of energy and ambition to drive his team to success," Heynckes stressed.
Robben is admitting it is the prospect to win a grand title what makes him go.
A lot of ambition is nothing new in the football life of the striker. But they were not always for his benefit. Robben had to go through tough times after he joined Bayern in 2009 coming from the Spanish football giant Real Madrid.
The extremely fast and specially gifted footballer in the past often was accused of being narcissistic. Teammates and fans invented an unflattering nickname as Robben was called "Alleinikov" which includes the German word "alleine" (alone) indicating Robben does not care much about team spirit but is firmly focused on his performance.
"There is some strong force inside of him that makes him want to get better and better. You could see that the first time at the age of eight or nine years," Hans Robben remembers.
Meanwhile, Robben stands for a footballer caring about his team's benefit and his teammate's performance. Team spirit has developed into a vital part of his game.
Robben in 2017 is of particular value for the Bavarian side as coach Heynckes is counting on a high game over the flanks. Despite his age, Robben delivers extreme speed and a level of quality that could lead Bayern to a successful 2017/2018 season.
More than ever Robben seems to enjoy the great moments of the team sports football. When Bayern's team gathered on the pitch in advance of their Champions League group match against the Scottish side of Celtic Glasgow fans saw a smiling Robben waiting for kick-off.
He admitted he was full of joy looking forward to the game in a unique atmosphere when listening to the fans songs he experienced as "touching my heart."
After Robben and the Dutch national team missed qualification for the 2018 World Cup, the striker resigned having scored both goals when the Netherlands beat Sweden 2-0 after 14 years in the Dutch shirt, 96 caps and 37 goals. Fans saw tears running down his face when the Dutch national anthem was played "as I knew that moment it would be the last time I play for my country."
Robben announced to now fully concentrate on his club career as "I have the opportunity to be part of one of the best clubs in the world," he emphasized.
Robben might be what you call "an old man" in football, but national and international rivals are aware they have to face a striker still burning for football and success.