Netherlands captain Arjen Robben will miss his country’s upcoming friendly match against a very strong Belgian side - but not for the usual reason, i.e. injury.
Far from injured, Robben is opting to stay in Munich to participate in additional practice sessions with Carlo Ancelotti. He does so with the blessing of Netherlands national coach Danny Blind. Blind said, “I want Robben 100 percent against Luxembourg.”
And there’s the catch: while Robben will miss the friendly against Belgium, he will join the Dutch national team for their crucial World Cup qualifying match aganist Luxembourg on Sunday.
With the Netherlands currently behind France and Sweden in their group, a win over Luxembourg - currently last in the group - is an absolute necessity. The historically strong Netherlands do not want to repeat the dismal performance that saw them shockingly fail to qualify for Euro 2016.
After almost a year away from national team duty, Robben is eager to ensure that he and his teammates will make another run for World Cup glory in Russia.