Arjen Robben. One of the most consistent and electrifying performers of his generation, but also one of the most under appreciated.

The Bayern Munich flier has proved himself at the highest level in the Netherlands, England, Spain and Germany - and is still going strong at the ripe old age of 33.

Only a chequered injury history has denied the Dutchman the same level of acclaim readily attributed to world-beating contemporaries Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.

Watch: Eight years of Robben brilliance at Bayern

Since making his professional debut for hometown club Groningen in 2000/01, Robben has racked up 661 appearances in all competitions for club and country. He has won, among others, the Eredivisie, two English Premier League titles, La Liga and is a six-time Bundesliga champion. 

Further bespangling a decorated resumé, the Dutch Destroyer also landed Bayern their fifth European crown with the winning goal in the final of the 2012/13 UEFA Champions League against Borussia Dortmund at Wembley Stadium, and collected a runners-up medal at the FIFA 2010 World Cup and bronze in 2014.

"Arjen is a perfect example of how an older player can still learn and develop, and refuse to be satisfied with what he's already achieved," former Bayern sporting director Matthias Sammer said in 2014, the year Robben finished third behind Ronaldo and Bayern goalkeeper Manuel Neuer in the UEFA Best Player in Europe stakes.

"He's world class. I can only encourage every young player to watch and learn from him."

Robben made a telling contribution as Bayern won a Bundesliga, Champions League and DFB Cup treble in 2013. © gettyimages

Sound advice. Despite only breaking the 30-game barrier in one of his 18 campaigns to date due to injury – hamstring troubles, for the most part - Robben is a player who has continually defied expectation. He has become quicker with age and more deadly.

Last season’s return is a prime example. Largely injury-free, the Bedum-born ace scored 13 times and produced 12 assists, with only Robert Lewandowski proving more effective in front of goal in a Bayern shirt.

Quite the tally for a midfielder, albeit nothing out-of-the-ordinary for Robben, who has hit at least 15 goals and assists combined in all but two of his eight full Bundesliga seasons to date.

"I still feel very good and want to be at the top as long as possible," the former PSV Eindhoven, Chelsea and Real Madrid wide man said after announcing his retirement from international football following the Netherlands' failure to qualify for the 2018 World Cup.

"I'm 33 now. I'm playing at a top club in Europe and I want to concentrate on it now. The man of glass has lasted the longest."

Joking aside, Robben was an impeccable servant for his country – 37 goals and 30 assists in 96 senior caps – and arguably the last genuinely world-class Dutch footballer. His decision to pass the baton at his vintage peak underlines the astute mind behind the enduring body.

"Arjen is world-class, we’ll miss him," admitted ex-Netherlands head coach Dick Advocaat. "He was and, still is, one of the best players in the world. He'll still do his job at club level."

Robben captained the Netherlands for three years, before hanging up his international boots in October 2017.

The numbers scarcely do Robben's influence justice, but 235 goals, 182 assists and 30 trophies is a laudable return for a player whose career has been interrupted by injury.

Perhaps in the future, Robben - the quintessential inverted winger, whose signature angled run and curled left-footed finish remains as feared by opposition defenders today as it was 18 years ago - will get the credit he deserves.

Chris Mayer-Lodge