A genuine spring in his step, Bayern Munich's 34-year-old winger Arjen Robben is performing like a player half his age. - © © imago / MIS
A genuine spring in his step, Bayern Munich's 34-year-old winger Arjen Robben is performing like a player half his age. - © © imago / MIS

Bayern Munich's Arjen Robben: "I don't feel like I'm 34!"

Arjen Robben continues to defy the ageing process after scoring one of the finest goals of his acclaimed career in Bayern Munich's 3-1 win over Bayer Leverkusen.

An instinctive 20-yard volley, hit with the outside of his irrepressible left foot - it was a thing of real beauty, and took the 34-year-old onto 140 competitive goals in a Bayern shirt. Of all the Bavarian club's non-German players past and present, only Robert Lewandowski has netted more often.

bundesliga.com caught up with the evergreen Dutchman after the game to get his thoughts on his electric display against Leverkusen, working under Niko Kovac and Bayern's upcoming UEFA Champions League meeting with Benfica...

bundesliga.com: You scored a special goal against Leverkusen. Did you anticipate Jonathan Tah might undercook his headed clearance?

Robben: Sometimes it doesn’t run for you, but you always have to try. He didn’t get much behind it; I met the ball and hit it well (laughs). You always need a bit of luck.

bundesliga.com: You started the season on the bench, but have been flying since with two goals in three games. Was being on the bench added motivation for you?

Robben: I always give everything. If I don’t play, I always try to go pedal to the floor when I come in. It’ll happen a lot more, but it’s important to give everything and be important for the team when you’re on the pitch.

bundesliga.com: You looked particularly fired up against Leverkusen…

Robben: I’m 34 now, and I just try to enjoy every moment. Sometimes it hits you how lucky you are to be able to play here, at a sold-out Allianz Arena. You just have to enjoy it. I don’t know how long it’ll last, but I don’t feel like I’m 34 right now. I feel very, very fit. Hopefully it’ll stay that way for a long time. Then I can enjoy playing. I always try to do that. Then you can be successful.

Watch: Arjen Robben's top 5 Bundesliga goals

bundesliga.com: You’ve worked under a lot of coaches. What’s Niko Kovac like as a person? Is he matey with the players or does he have another way of talking to you?

Robben: Every coach has his own style, but I wouldn’t say he’s matey. He’s the coach, he’s the boss - he makes the decisions. Sometimes he comes across as relaxed. He tries to get along with all the players and build a good relationship with them. That’s important, but it’s not easy. To me it’s like he’s still a player. He’s very ambitious and takes things seriously. He really values the physical aspect of the game, we all noticed that in pre-season. He knows what we need in order to be successful.

bundesliga.com: Do you like it that way?

Robben: Yes, I really like it. I like his approach, especially his people skills. He’s honest. He says when something is good and also if something isn’t. That’s why he’s not really matey because he has to address the bad things.

- © imago

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