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

The statistics speak for themselves. On Matchday 1 of the 2018/19 Bundesliga campaign - Robben's 10th in Germany - the 34-year-old stepped off the bench to bring up his 96th goal, on his 190th appearance, as Bayern Munich kicked of their title defence with a 3-1 win over Hoffenheim. Together with his 68 assists, he has now had a direct hand in a goal every 82 minutes that he's played in the Bundesliga.

It's a mind-boggling ratio: streaks ahead of English Premier League upstarts Eden Hazard (120 mins) and Kevin De Bruyne (142 mins), and only bettered at league level - of his fellow 30-something contemporaries - by Lionel Messi (61 mins) and Cristiano Ronaldo (74 mins).

Hindered by a chequered injury history, Robben doesn't get the same level of acclaim as world football's top two - but he certainly deserves it.

Watch: Nine years and counting of Robben brilliance at Bayern

Since making his professional debut for hometown club Groningen in 2000/01, Robben has racked up 682 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 seven-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.

His 2016/17 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 three of his nine 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 in October 2017 on the back of the Netherlands' failure to qualify for the 2018 World Cup.

"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; a combination that Bayern rewarded with a one-year contract extension in summer 2018.

"I'd heard a lot about him, but he has surpassed all my expectations and then some," said Bayern head coach Niko Kovac of Robben, a veteran of over 290 appearances in all competitions in his nine years at the Allianz Arena.

"The work he puts in every day is fascinating. He's a real example to young players. He's still world-class and a really important player for us."

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 241 goals, 190 assists and 32 trophies is a laudable return for a player - 35 in January! - 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 19 years ago - will get the credit he deserves.

Chris Mayer-Lodge