Robben: Guardiola is to thank for my fantastic form

The winger has been Bayern’s stand-out player in the last 12 months and he thanks the former Barcelona trainer for his career boost

Arjen Robben has credited Bayern Munich boss Pep Guardiola with his impressive form in the past 12 months.

The Dutch winger star seemed to be fading in 2012-13 when he fell out of favour under former coach Jupp Heynckes, though a late-season revival ensured he started and scored in the Champions League final, which the Bavarians won.

Many suspected that Robben would be sold by Guardiola upon his arrival last summer, but instead the Netherlands international has thrived and is arguably better than ever in his career right now – something he believes is down to the motivation his Spanish coach has given him.

“I would not say the pressure dropped,” he told the Bundesliga’s official website.

“As the new Bayern coach, Pep Guardiola said to me: ‘You have proved your class, remember to not enjoy yourself too much and always keep your confidence up’.

“It’s difficult to say if this is the strongest Bayern team I’ve been part of, maybe it is. It is important this season that we did not have many injuries and can rely on a good squad.

“With Pep Guardiola as our coach, we do not have to adjust much. We just have to wait until everyone is back on top form after the World Cup.

“This is just the beginning of a difficult season. But the Bayern squad are more together than ever before.”

Robben also stressed that Guardiola lives and breathes football, joking that the former Barcelona boss would be happy to discuss tactics in the middle of the night.

“This season our aim is to be tactically flexible – this is something important for Guardiola,” the ex-Real Madrid forward added. “He is always looking to spring a tactical surprise.

“It shows that he lives football 24 hours a day. I guess you could call him at 3am to talk to him about tactics! I bet he’d even be happy with the call!”

Bayern are back in action against Stuttgart on Saturday following a two-week international break.

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