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Robben eager for new season under Niko Kovac

Coaches change, but the goals are the same for Arjen Robben: winning every title possible—and especially a second Champions League trophy.

MUNICH, GERMANY - MAY 12: Arjen Robben of FC Bayern Muenchen attends the Bundesliga match between FC Bayern Muenchen and VfB Stuttgart at Allianz Arena on May 12, 2018 in Munich, Germany.
MUNICH, GERMANY - MAY 12: Arjen Robben in good spirits and Lederhosen as a club legend at Bayern’s final home game, May 12, 2018.
Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Bongarts/Getty Images

Bad timing has bedeviled Arjen Robben’s spring and summer plans: he suffered an injury in the opening minutes of the first crucial Champions League match against Real Madrid and so missed Bayern Munich’s all-important final games of the season. Then just as he was regaining his fitness, the season ended and he found himself compelled to relax—maybe watch the World Cup (alas, without the Netherlands)—and wait.

Vacation was not exactly what Robben had in mind. Robben talked about his frustration in a new interview with Bild. At the moment, Robben is resigned to enjoy his time off as best he can, but he is already thinking about training for the preseason:

I wanted to keep on training in Munich. It’s already going well with running training. Now we have about five weeks’ time before the preseason starts; that’s a long time. You have to enjoy vacation, too. And then I’ll train again in time to be fit when things get underway with Niko Kovac.

Asked about what he foresees for the new season under a new coach, Robben expressed his wish to remain healthy and in form:

The goals are the same as ever: we want to win all possible titles! I’ll try to stay fit for the entire season. I want to be important to the team in the decisive moments. I’d like to play and help Bayern Munich.

Obviously, his late-season injury this past season looms large on his mind. His contract extension in April did not mitigate his disappointment at his inability to contribute to the team in the Champions League semifinals:

Those are two different things. The one is a contract that I’m happy about because I can still attack for Bayern for another season. But the other is that I missed the important games because of my injury.

A second Champions League title with Bayern remains Robben’s “last major goal” as his career draws to a close:

Why not? That’s obviously one of my major goals in the new season. We have high ambitions; that’s how it has to be. It’s in the nature of Bayern Munich!

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