'Relief at last' – Goal.com's World Player of the Week Arjen Robben

Borussia Dortmund
1-2 Bayern Munich

Like a lot of people, Bayern Munich legend Franz Beckenbauer never had much faith in Arjen Robben. The two-time European Footballer of the Year didn’t doubt the Dutchman’s talent; he just felt the winger didn’t have the ‘bottle’ for the big occasion.

Beckenbauer publicly lambasted Robben for his penalty misses in crucial clashes against Borussia Dortmund and Chelsea last season. After watching the 29-year-old squander two one-on-ones in the opening half of Saturday’s Champions League final, ‘Der Kaiser‘ lamented: “It just seems like he can’t score in decisive matches.”

By full-time everything had changed. With just over 60 seconds of normal time remaining at Wembley, and with Bayern and Dortmund locked at one goal apiece, Robben latched onto a back-heel from Franck Ribery and hurdled a couple of challenges to put himself through on goal – again.

It was his shot at redemption, an opportunity to dispose of what he himself had described as his loser’s tag – and he took it, coolly rolling the ball past Roman Weidenfeller. It had been a long time coming – he was visibly overcome with emotion as he wheeled away to celebrate – but he had deserved it. He also deserves our World Player of the Week award, as Goal Germany‘s Claas Philipp underlines.

“When Robben missed his first big chance after half an hour, it seemed set to become a typical final for the Dutchman,” he admitted.

“He couldn’t score back in the 2010 World Cup final, when he lost a one-on-one against Spain’s Iker Casillas, and obviously his missed penalty in last year’s Champions League final against Chelsea was still fresh in everyone’s memory.

“This time, however, it was Robben’s night. He provided the cross for Mario Mandzukic’s opener and scored late to secure Bayern’s fifth European Cup title.

“After the final whistle, he went to the stands where the Bayern fans were seated, stretched his arms out and closed his eyes for a while. It was redemption. But it was also relief. Enormous relief. At last.”

Congratulations to Arjen Robben, Goal’s 211th World Player of the Week winner!

The Shortlist

Yuya Osako – Kashima Antlers

@Sebinomics: “Two good teams playing good football, and Osako showing off his talent.”

Goal’s Dan Orlowitz: “Underlined the folly of his recent snub by Japan with a double in a 3-2 win over Tokyo.”

Senad Lulic – Lazio

 @jackrathborn: “A rumoured target for Juve and would be perfect on the Bianconeri left.”

Goal’s Kris Voakes: “Became the darling of the Biancocelesti faithful with the winner in the Coppa Italia final.”

Mark-Jan Fledderus – Roda JC

@BartPimpson: “Yyyeeeeesssss!!!! Thank u lord!!!!! Fledderus you are a saviour!!!!”

Goal’s Floris Koekenbier: “Scored two stunning free-kicks in Roda’s Eredivisie play-off win over Sparta Rotterdam.”

Moises Munoz – Club America

@Simonhfootball:This Was A Miracle … Player Of The Whole Game Was ..  Munoz!”

Goal’s Eric Gomez: “‘Keeper forced extra-time in the Liga MX final before saving a penalty in the shootout win!”

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