'Winning CL is the best moment of my career'

Last Updated: Mon, May 27, 2013 07:13 hrs

The expression on his face after he scored the winning goal in the Uefa Champions League final against Borussia Dortmund at Wembley said it all. Arjen Robben, the hero of Bayern Munich’s fifth European Cup triumph, reveals how the heartbreak of finishing second best in three major finals in the last four seasons, including the 2010 World Cup, gave way to ecstasy as the final whistle was blown on Saturday night. Excerpts:

Q) Arjen, scoring the winner in a Champions League Final against your deadly rivals Borussia Dortmund and being named man of the match in a 2-1 victory; has it been the best experience of your career?
A) "There's no doubt about that! I don't think you can get any better than that. It's the biggest thing you can do in club football. I feel like now I've done everything and of course it's a very emotional moment for me, and for everyone at the club. It means so much."

Q) It must have meant even more to you after missing a penalty against Chelsea in the final last year?
A) "That was a low moment and of course I have dreamt ever since of putting it right. But it's not just me. We were all so disappointed at what happened last year and we said to each other straight away that we wanted to go to Wembley the next year and win the trophy. So now we've done it - and, well, it's an amazing feeling."

Q) After so many narrow misses, it's good to be a winner at last!
A) "Exactly. You don't want the stamp of a loser; you don't want always to be finishing second. There was all the disappointment of last year but I personally also had the [2010] World Cup. That was three finals that were lost. Now I have won one."

Q) That kind of pressure builds up on a player and on a club, doesn't it?
A) "It wasn't so much pressure; not for me, anyway. I tried to make it into positive energy. I couldn't start thinking negatively, otherwise it would be too difficult.
"But now it's over. This time I scored the goal. We did it and we can forget about the other things."

Q) So how did you feel when the final whistle went?
A) "It's difficult to describe in words, there are so many emotions going through your head. It's such a special feeling. I have waited so long and it means so much for the club. For the last four years we have been three times in the final and now we have the trophy."

Q) Did you know straight away you had scored the winning goal?
A) "I didn't even know what time it was when I scored. It went in and then I looked up and I saw it said 89 minutes and I thought 'wow, it can be the end'. It was a great feeling I can tell you."

Q) You were crying at the end, can you sum up what was going through your mind when the final whistle went?
A) "Oh, everything - your whole career to be honest. It was a special feeling. You don't want to be remembered in this career as a loser. It's harsh to say but every time in second place is not what you want. It was so important to win the trophy this time. We needed to do it and we deserved to do it."

Q) Can this be the start of something really big for Bayern? Maybe a new football era in which Bayern and not Barcelona win the major trophies every year?
A) "For me, it's already big. We just want to enjoy this moment now. Other people can speak about the future but we just want to enjoy the next few hours. I think they are going to be special!"

Q) Bayern have also won the Bundesliga and are going for a treble with the DFB Cup Final against Stuttgart to come in Germany next weekend -  so this could be the greatest season in the club's history!
A) "Already it's amazing. I think we are already in the history books after what we have done. And just think about the way we did it too. If you beat Juventus twice, then beat Barcelona 4-0, 3-0 and then win the final, well - that's special. I don't know what more you can wish for."

Q) Does the fact that two German clubs were in the final show that the Bundesliga is really developing and ready to overtake the Premier League and La Liga?
A) "It's not easy to compare leagues and I don't think I need to. But for sure over the years the Bundesliga has improved a lot; we see a very good development. It is quite impressive. I can certainly see the level of football has improved over the last two or three years. The intensity for instance - it is physically very strong and the proof is this season in Europe as all the teams have done a great job. And of course we have won the title!"

Q) So all those stories saying you weren't happy at Bayern weren't true?
A) "No, I'm very happy and I have two years still on my contract. It is always easy to be happy if you are successful, if you play finals, if you win titles. Right now I am enjoying it."

Q) It could get even better next year with Pep Guardiola in charge?
A) "It's true, but that's in the future. Let's save that for another day. I think right now we just want to celebrate what we have achieved. It's very special."

Professional Management Group

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