Bayern Munich
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1:30 AM UTC Apr 26, 2018
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Arjen Robben to play on for Dutch

Netherlands attacker Arjen Robben insists he has no plans to follow Bayern Munich teammates Philipp Lahm and Franck Ribery into international retirement.

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Lahm decided to end his Germany career at the age of 30 after lifting the 2014 World Cup, while Franck Ribery, 31, said this week no longer wanted to represent France.

However, Robben, who helped Netherlands finish runners-up at the 2010 World Cup and third at this summer's tournament, has every intention of playing on.

"It still gives me a lot of joy," the 30-year-old told Sport 1. "It's an honour to play for my country. If my physical condition allows it, I will just continue.

"Whether I play at FC Bayern or for the Netherlands, it's a great honour. If nothing bad happens, I will certainly take part in the 2016 European Championship."

Robben, who has made the 2014 UEFA European Player of the Year shortlist, also stressed that Bayern will be his last top club.

The former Chelsea and Real Madrid star, who has three years remaining on his contract, said: "I have no more dreams. I feel really fine here in Munich. FC Bayern are my club, and it will stay like that."

Arjen Robben has fiercely led the Netherlands into the World Cup quarterfinals.
Arjen Robben plans to prolong his career with the Dutch national team.

Robben, though, began his career at Dutch side Groningen and suggested he could make a return before hanging up his boots, adding: "I don't know what happens after that. My hometown, Groningen, will always remain in my heart."

Robben has played a key role for Bayern in the last two seasons as they won back-to-back titles in the Bundesliga and DFB-Pokal, as well as the 2013 Champions League.

They remain strong favourites to retain the German title, but the champions' difficult preseason has offered hope to the likes of Borussia Dortmund, Schalke and Bayer Leverkusen.

Javi Martinez has been ruled out for several months after an ACL injury in the Super Cup defeat to Dortmund, and Robben admits it is a major blow: "It looked really nasty. That was unfortunate. Javier is an important man for us, and that's not good for us."

Even so, he is convinced that Bayern have a "super squad" and should be competing on several fronts this season.

"There are still many titles to win, and it has nothing to do with arrogance when I say that we need to go after them," Robben said.

"With a squad like ours, it's normal that expectations are high, but I don't look too far ahead. We need to stay calm and find our rhythm. The preseason was not ideal. We had a long season, and continued after only a short break. We need to find the joy of playing again."

There has been some debate as to whether Bayern coach Pep Guardiola should keep faith with the 3-4-3 formation he has used for much of preseason or return to a back four, particularly with the Martinez injury reducing his options at centre-back.

However, Robben said: "It's not important which formation we play. The coach thinks that, too. We have a lot of quality, and so many versatile players. I am just looking forward to the new season. It does not matter to me whether I play on the left or on the right.

"The formation is not the most important thing -- it can change during the match. We need to be flexible."

He added: "We have made a huge step forward with this coach. A lot of things were new last year. We know the coach now, we know what he wants. I am convinced we'll play an even better season this year."


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