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Ambitious Arjen hopes for long injury-free run

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Ambitious Arjen hopes for long injury-free run

Postby FCBayernNews » Fri Jan 06, 2012 4:10 pm

Arjen Robben is justifiably held in high esteem by Bayern fans. FCB would, for example, never have reached the 2010 Champions League final without the Dutchman's crucial goals. However, the winger has suffered more than his fair share of injury misery recently, missing the entire half-season immediately after the 2010 World Cup, and suffering so far this term with persistent pelvic problems.

As a result, Robben only has 12 appearances to his name in 2011/12. "My two most recent injuries were unbelievable," the 27-year-old said at the winter training camp in Doha. Arjen prefers not to dwell on the past, "because not knowing when I'd be able to return has been a huge problem," he admitted.

No doctor in the world could predict that with the current injury, and the player is still feeling pain from time to time from the long-term pelvic inflammation. "But it's improving all the time and I'm training well," the Dutch ace reported. One thing he can always be sure of is support from the club. FCB president Uli Hoeneß has frequently emphasised Arjen's importance to FC Bayern, "and that did me a lot of good," the winger said. Arjen still has 18 months to run on his contract, "but I feel really good and I can see no reason to leave the club."

Robben is a valued member of the squad, by the management, his team-mates and boss Jupp Heynckes alike. "Arjen is capable of deciding a game on his own. The last-minute goal to win the cup tie in Bochum wasn't easy to take, and he blasted Bayern into the 2010 Champions League final," the coach pointed out. If there are to be similar fireworks this term, the number 10 needs a long run without injury, "and that's what I want for him," commented Heynckes.

Keeping the faith

The Netherlands star has not missed a minute of the training programme in Qatar, and looks in sparkling form. "He's hard-working, ambitious and diligent," the boss declared. He also took the honour of scoring Bayern's first goal in 2012 with the opener in Thursday evening's friendly. "And it was an unbelievably important goal," he giggled after the gentle workout.

"My first season with Bayern was the best of my career," the player now believes, and he is busily working on recapturing that form. "I'm looking forward to enjoying myself again at last and finding my rhythm. I continue to believe in myself," he stated, "I hope all the injury trouble is finally over. I live for my job."

Ribéry aiming high

Unless there is an unforeseen mishap, Robben stands a good chance of starting the Bundesliga restart fixture away to Mönchengladbach on 20 January. By contrast, his partner on the opposite flank, Franck Ribéry, is definitely out of that match after his dismissal in the last league match before Christmas. Heynckes is relaxed about the loss of his left-winger and is taking a humorous approach: "He's training brilliantly, as if he thought he'd be playing in Gladbach. Maybe Franck doesn't know he can't."

In Thursday's friendly against Al Sailiya, Ribéry turned in a superb display after coming on at half-time. "I feel as good as I did in my first season at Bayern," he said. The smile has returned to his face and the fun to his football. He is desperate for honours as well: "I want to win the Bundesliga and the Champions League. The atmosphere in the dressing room is excellent and we have a great squad. The gap to Barcelona is getting smaller." Especially with Ribéry and Robben on top form.
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