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Arjen Robben recalls bouncing back from the 2012 loss to Chelsea in the Champions League final

It’s safe to say Robben shook off the loss incredibly well en route to his match-winner vs. Dortmund at Wembley in 2013.

FC Bayern Muenchen v Chelsea FC - UEFA Champions League Final Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Missing a penalty kick in a Champions League final is an indescribable heartache for any player, and Arjen Robben bore the burden in 2012 when Bayern Munich lost to Chelsea in a penalty shootout at the Allianz Arena. The Dutchman missed a crucial penalty kick in extra time after Didier Drogba leveled things at 1-1 to send the match into penalties - Robben could’ve sealed the deal had he converted his spot kick. The loss was especially bittersweet for Robben considering the fact that he was a part of the Bayern squad that had lost to Inter Milan in the Champions League final just two years prior in 2010.

In a recent interview with FourFourTwo, Robben recalled the loss and how low he felt after losing to his former club at Bayern’s home venue:

It [the 2012 final] was a huge low point for me and very disappointing for everyone. We were in our own stadium and went 1-0 up. Unfortunately they equalized and then I missed a penalty.

Fast forward twelve months, and it was Robben’s late goal that gave Bayern Munich the 2-1 win over Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League final at Wembley. He struggled with injuries throughout a good portion of the 2012-2013 campaign, but still managed to tally 13 goals and 13 assists from a total of 31 appearances across all competitions. In true, full-circle fashion, Robben admitted that his late winner in 2013 was the picture perfect way to put 2012’s heartache behind him:

They [Chelsea] were the first ones to miss in the shootout [in 2012], too. When you miss a crucial penalty it’s very, very hard, but you have to recover from that. We recovered very well the following year and proved that we were still a great team at Wembley. It was like the script for a film or a book. I missed a penalty against Chelsea the previous year, and then 12 months on I scored the winner. I believe it’s a great example of the sort of character needed to achieve success. If you have a massive setback, you have to stand up and fight back, and I did that.

With the 2013 final being his third Champions League final, Robben revealed that the pressure to win was mounting heavily in the buildup to the match:

Before the third final against Dortmund, there was incredible pressure. While my mindset was very positive and I was convinced we’d win at Wembley, I was also thinking, ‘I can’t play in three Champions League finals and lose all of them’ – nobody wants that label on their career.

It’s safe to say that Robben handled the pressure magnificently and helped Bayern lift their fifth Champions League title and their first since 2001.

Alas, we leave with a look back at that glorious evening at Wembly:

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