Arjen Robben says he is fit and firing as he begins his 10th consecutive campaign at record German champions Bayern Munich.
The Dutch winger penned a one-year contract extension with Bayern in the summer and says he has no intention of slowing down despite turning 34 in January.
“We want to win titles, at least one more than last year," said the winger, who has collected seven Bundesliga titles in nine seasons at the Allianz Arena. “I hope to be able to play an important role this season. There are two options for every position but everyone needs to be fit throughout the season.”
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Robben featured 21 times last season as Bayern romped to a record sixth successive Bundesliga title, chipping in with five goals and just as many assists. He sees no reason why he can’t play a starring role again next term.
“I want to be fit this year,” he continued. “I can tell you that I’m really fit and the tests are confirming this. I just need to avoid injuries. It's important that we all stay here and that we're all fit, and then we're going to be hard to beat.”
Niko Kovac is the sixth coach Robben will play for at Bayern, following spells under Jupp Heynckes, Louis van Gaal, Andries Jonker, Pep Guardiola and Carlo Ancelotti. He is confident the Croat can latch onto the success of his predecessors, having vowed to bounce some of his own experience off him.
“We’ve got a young, ambitious coach who wants to work a lot,” Robben said. “He's got his own philosophy and I'm looking forward to working together. We can have a successful season. This is a big step for him and we're also going to support him.”
Support will also be given to Renato Sanches, who is keen to take his second chance with the Bavarians after spending last season on loan with Swansea City in the English Premier League.
“He’s a hugely talented lad and he's shown it already,” Robben concluded. “You’ve always got to work hard and never be happy too quickly. The young players have the best possible conditions at Bayern and you've got to motivate yourself to make the breakthrough.”