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Arjen Robben Wins Dutch Sportsman of the Year

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The Dutchman becomes the first footballer to win the award since 1987.

Buda Mendes/Getty Images

He may not have won the UEFA Champions League, the FIFA World Cup, or even the UEFA Best Player in Europe this year, but Arjen Robben did win an honor difficult for a footballer to acquire. After Bayern Munich's 2-0 victory against SC Frebiurg, Robben received his trophy for the Dutch Sportsman of the Year.

And he should be very proud. Only three other footballers have been named the Dutch Sportsman of the Year. Abe Lenstra, a forward who was playing for SC Heerenveen at the time, won the first two awards back when the award was just the "Sportsperson of the Year" in 1951 and 1952. Ajax and Barcelona legend Johan Crujff won it twice as well in 1973 and 1974, and Ruud Gullit was the last footballer to win the award in 1987 as a member of AC Milan.

The award the last three years has belonged to Epke Zonderland, a gymnast who the Order of Orange-Nassau knighted in 2012 after winning the gold medal in the high bar. The honor has been bestowed mostly to gymnasts, swimmers, and speed skaters the past 25 years.

Robben scored 25 goals and 12 assists for club and country in 2014, including three goals and three assists in six World Cup matches for the OranjeHis most recent goal was his 100th in a Bayern kit, and his opener in extra time of the DFB-Pokal Final against Borussia Dortmund was arguably his most important. He was part of his third domestic double in a Bayern uniform. Karl-Heinz Rummenigge recently called him the "best field player in the world."

Robben now joins David Alaba, Mehdi Benatia, and Manuel Neuer as players who have won individual country/continent awards. He was also shortlisted for the FIFA/FIFPro World XI.