Arjen Robben is confident his teammates can help him enjoy more UEFA Champions League glory this season. - © AFP/Getty Images
Arjen Robben is confident his teammates can help him enjoy more UEFA Champions League glory this season. - © AFP/Getty Images

Arjen Robben says Bayern Munich will not be fazed by Anfield atmosphere against Liverpool

When Bayern Munich head to Anfield to face Liverpool in the last 16 of the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday, they will not be fazed by one of the most iconic venues in world football, according to Arjen Robben.

Up against last season's beaten finalists, managed by Jürgen Klopp – a man who learned and perfected his trade in the Bundesliga – and in front of over 50,000 passionate fans, Bayern could hardly have been given a tougher draw as they bid to reach the quarter-finals for an eighth straight season.

However, Robben – who will miss out with a thigh injury – believes the current crop of Bayern talent are hardened to such occasions, and they will not be intimidated.

"It's all about the players," he told England's Daily Mail. "If your mentality is not strong enough, you can be influenced a little bit and it can make a difference. As an opponent, mentally we have to be very strong, just focused on the game and nothing more.

Arjen Robben has won 19 trophies for Bayern Munich, and he wants at least one more this year. - AFP/Getty Images

"We don't have that many young guys any more. We've got a very experienced team. Everybody knows the atmosphere at Anfield is probably one of the best you can imagine in Europe. So that's something you have to be aware of, of course. But I think we're used to it, playing in big stadiums like that, with fans. In these top games there are not a lot of secrets. It's about little details and about just who has the best form that day."

Perhaps Robben will be more nervous than anybody on Tuesday, though, as he watches on from the stands, powerless. The thigh injury which has kept him sidelined since November is showing little sign of healing, meaning the Dutchman may also miss the second leg at the equally intimidating Allianz Arena.

All that remains, therefore, is for him to keep his fingers crossed that his teammates provide him with the opportunity to play again in the Champions League this season.

Arjen Robben broke Jürgen Klopp's heart in 2013 when Bayern Munich beat his Borussia Dortmund. - 2013 AFP

It was Robben's goal which earned Bayern victory over Klopp's Dortmund in the 2013 final, and the thought of emulating that in Madrid in June continues to spur him on.

"I think it's just the success and the love for the game," he said "The main thing that keeps you going is just not to be satisfied, you know. In football there's always going to be a next game. If you win or you lose, or if you win titles, that's already the past. There always comes a new season and a new game and you always have to focus on that and never be happy, never be satisfied, always try also to improve your game."

Even 19 years on from his professional debut with Groningen, Robben is still trying to do just that – and the fact no defender has yet managed to suss out a way of thwarting his trademark cut inside and curled shot into the far corner is proof that he still makes a difference.

"Well, if you do it at the right time it still surprises them!" he said. "Timing is the key. Always. My wife sometimes tells me that I can be very proud of that, because people say it like it's your own move: running inside and scoring a goal.

"They say it in Holland or here in Germany as well as France. That is something special because it is something I have been doing throughout the years and, well, it's still successful!"

Anybody heard the secret behind Arjen Robben's deadly trademark goals? - 2018 Getty Images

There is still time for more success for a man who has already lifted 28 trophies – 19 with Bayern – and bowing out with a second Champions League winner's medal in Madrid would be a fine way to conclude a successful chapter, before a new one begins.

Robben announced late last year that this will be his last season with Bayern.

"It was a big step, to finish your career here at an amazing club after 10 amazing years," he said. "That's the first big decision and now the second one. It's maybe more difficult, because if it's about what is coming next you want to make it the best decision possible and that's always difficult in football because you will only know after you have made the decision.

"I'm still playing. I don't know how long but I always said that as long as I enjoy it and physically feel good enough to perform at the level I want to, then I will continue. I am also still curious where I will be next year. Maybe England, maybe Spain, or somewhere else – it can be anywhere. We'll see."