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Aug 16, 2013

Robben hails 'top coach' Guardiola

Arjen Robben has praised new Bayern Munich coach Pep Guardiola, insisting his team-mates are pleased to learn from a coach who made Lionel Messi even stronger.

Arjen Robben scored the winner in Bayern Munich's DFB Pokal game against Borussia Dortmund
Robben is expected to be a key figure for Bayern this season.

Much to the surprise of many, Robben has so far been one of the key players under Guardiola. The first few weeks of the former Barcelona man's tenure have been described as a "culture revolution" by some media outlets, but Robben believes that this is not the case.

"Every new coach does new things and Pep tries to teach us many great things," Robben told Bild. "He is a top coach and we are happy and proud that he is with us now. We benefit from him greatly.

"[He is] a man who made Barcelona play fantastic football and who made Messi even stronger. You just have to learn something from that man. I had many great coaches, but every day I learn from him, I have a good rapport with him. I feel great trust."

Bayern will take on Chelsea in the European Supercup in Prague next week.

"I want this title on my business card, just like I want the Club World Cup on it," he added. "The longer the list the better. Those finals are the rewards for our historic last season. We should be thankful and win them."

Robben is also delighted to finally have Mario Gotze on board.

"He is a super footballer. It was our strength last year that we did not lose any quality when somebody was sidelined. You should bank on each other and not fear the competition."

When Robben looks back on his career one day, 2013 will most definitely stand out as one of the best and most successful years of his career. 

The Netherlands winger entered 2013 with major doubts about whether he should continue his injury prone career. In October 2012, he told Dutch TV he had considered ending his career. At that time, Robben had only played three Bundesliga games in the season

In the second half of last season, Robben only played 7 out of 17 Bundesliga games. But that was mainly down to the fact that he was part of the Bayern starting XI that stormed through the Champions League. 

On that night at Wembley, Robben scored the triumphant winner against Borussia Dortmund, a club he feared playing against the two previous seasons.

Not only did he score the last minute winner in the Champions League final but the Netherlands winger’s goal in the DFB Pokal quarter-final in late February erased Dortmund’s chances of repeating their 2012 cup triumph. 

The season before, Robben had handed the championship trophy to Dortmund when he missed a late penalty in Bayern's 1-0 defeat at the Westfalenstadion in April. A few weeks later Robben would miss an extra time penalty in Bayern’s Champions League final against Chelsea.

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