A lot of things have been said about Arjen Robben over the years. Some nice - most of it not so nice.
Words get bandied about on social media and in other contexts: selfish: diver: one-trick: egotistical (although that one's usually in a more profane context).
But the word loyal is one that never really comes up that really should. Now after 14 years of top flight football, it looks like the winger has finally found a place to call his own in Munich.
In an interview with the Telegraph, Arjen Robben spoke at length about his career including his past relationships with Louis Van Gaal and Jose Mourinho. if you haven't read it in it's entirety, you really should as it's a fantastic insight into his relationships with both coaches as well as his relationship with Pep Guardiola. While the interview is definitely of an English bent considering he spends an enormous amount of time answer questions specifically about Mourinho and Van Gaal, coaches plying their trade in the Premier League, there are many interesting thoughts about his time at Bayern Munich.
When Louis Van Gaal took over Bayern Munich in 2009, he brought in Arjen Robben from Real Madrid on a €25M transfer. After two years at Real Madrid, three years at Chelsea, and two years at PSV Eindhoven, Robben was putting together a career like so many other footballers in the modern game. Then something happened at the age of 25 and Arjen Robben found his niche.
Now a full 5 years later, and three managers later, Arjen Robben has found his home.
"I am enjoying it so much over here,"..."It is the perfect club with the perfect manager for me. My family is happy, we have lived here for five years and I am exactly at the place I want to be. It cannot be better than it is at the moment, so you don't need to have thoughts about other clubs and other leagues. If you see me again in three years in the Premier League, then who knows, but at the moment, there is not even one per cent of me thinking about going to England or anywhere." - Telegraph
It's not hard to fault him either. Now at the age of 30, he's playing what others (but not himself) consider the best football of his career. He's played in four countries and on arguably three of the most storied franchises of the last decade. He has a family and a contract that runs until 2017 and the age of 33. In that respect it's not surprising that the Dutchmen wants to stay at Bayern Munich. By the time end of this season rolls around he'll have been in Munich for as long as he was at Chelsea and Madrid and by the time his contract is up in 2017, he'll have been in Munich 8 years, or nearly 50% of his career.
But more then that it's been the way Bayern Munich has treated him as a player that has made Arjen Robben want to stay.
"I have been in England, I have been in Spain, so I don't have that desire, but that is all to do with the club I am with now. I am 100 per cent convinced I will stay here for a very long time."
It's a familiar refrain that you hear from all corners of the Bayern Munich roster. Lahm, Schweinsteiger, Müller, Ribery - it's the atmosphere around the club and the expectations of the club. Once you're there, you're family and it's hard to give that up. Even if you're just a balding 30-year-old Dutchmen.