Robben: Pep can cope with fired-up rivals

The Bayern Munich star is confident his side can pass the tests facing them this season and reacted to his nomination for Uefa’s Best Player in Europe award

Arjen Robben has said Bayern Munich fans should not be worried heading into the new season, insisting Pep Guardiola has the experience to guide them to another successful year.

Despite wrapping up the Bundesliga in record time last season, Bayern suffered a loss of momentum towards the end of 2013-14 and were thrashed 5-0 on aggregate by Real Madrid in the Champions League semi-final.

However, Robben says Bayern are confident heading into the new campaign and urged his team-mates to be at their best at all times.

“No one needs to have any worries,” he told the club’s website. “Obviously, our opponents will be even more fired up this season, but we know what we can do and we have a coach with so much experience of this situation.

“I think it’s good we start with strong opposition in the shape of Wolfsburg, Schalke and Stuttgart. Everyone will be thinking: ‘Hey, here we go again.’ We can’t afford to be careless.”

The 30-year-old played a pivotal role in Bayern’s Bundesliga triumph last season and scored four times as they reached the last four of the Champions League. The former Real Madrid and Chelsea player then went on to lead Netherlands to a surprise third-place finish at the World Cup.

As a result of his excellent displays, he was included in the final shortlist for the Uefa Best Player in Europe award, alongside team-mate Manuel Neuer and Ballon d’Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo. 

“It is just tremendous,” Robben said of his nomination. “It’s a wonderful recognition and a great honour. I only have to look at the long, long list of great players in Europe to know it’s fantastic and a nice reward for the last few years here at Bayern and with my national team.

“Two nominees in the top three from Bayern and Thomas Muller and Philipp in fourth and fifth – that is exceptional and shows we have clearly made our mark on Europe in recent years.”

The winger also pledged his support to Javi Martinez, who has been ruled out of action for “several months” with a knee injury he suffered in the DFL-Supercup defeat to Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday.

Robben continued: “It’s just devastating. He’s an extremely important player and he’s made the difference in lots of big games, last year’s cup final for example, or the 2013 Champions League final when he was the best man on the field. He just has to get through it now and stay mentally calm. It’s hard, but he’ll be back.”

Bayern team-mates Franck Ribery and Philipp Lahm have announced their retirement from international football this summer, but Robben insists he will keep playing for the Oranje.

“I will carry on for as long as I enjoy it and my body allows it,” he said.

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