The former PSV star believes the Bavarians will only get better and has admitted that winning the Champions League in 2013 lifted a weight off his shoulders
Arjen Robben has stressed that the current Bayern Munich team are better than the Real Madrid and Chelsea squads he was part of in the past.
The Netherlands international wore the Chelsea jersey between 2004 and 2007 before making the move to the Santiago Bernabeu side, only to join Bayern in the summer of 2009.
Robben says he has no regrets at all at joining the reigning Bundesliga champions as he believes they are the best side he has played for during his career.
“I have never played in a better team than this Bayern,” the 30-year-old was quoted as saying by Kicker.
“I have been here since 2009 and it has only gone uphill since. And things are looking even better for the future. Everybody will stay on.
“Only [Toni] Kroos and [Mario] Mandzukic have left and we brought in some good new players for them.
“And we don’t need to adapt to the new coach any more either. We all know him, his philosophy and what he expects from us.”
The experienced attacker has been in fine form in the past 18 months and he has made it clear that Bayern’s Champions League win in 2013 – a triumph Robben himself secured with the winner against Borussia Dortmund in the final – was vital to him.
“I have become much more relaxed and that’s largely down to the Champions League victory in 2013 when I scored the winning goal. It was a huge relief to finally win that title I had been craving for. All the pressure was gone after that,” he revealed.
“And Guardiola also told me to relax and that I had shown that I was a big-game player when we first spoke. That helped as well.”
CL seedings for the group stage see last year’s winners among the front-runners, while the Serie A outfit promise a ‘group of death’ from their lowly place in Pot 4
The Champions League Group Stage draw will take place at 17:45CET on Thursday August 28 2014, LIVE right here on Goal.com. Here we discover just who will face whom as Europe’s premier club competition gets into full swing …
How it works
The 32 qualifiers have been divided into four pots based on the Uefa coefficients, which are in turn decided by a mixture of the team’s own performance in Europe over the past five seasons, as well as the strength of their country’s league.
The Champions League group stage comprises eight pools of four teams: consequently, a team from each pot is drawn and placed into one of the eight groups available. This is done by pot and not “one at a time”: that is to say, all the teams from pot one will be placed into a group, and then pot two, and so on down to the fourth and final pot.
There are some restrictions, though. Teams from the same national association cannot be drawn together, and even prior to that there will be two ‘sets’ of groups decided for the purpose of television rights. For example, the four teams from Spain cannot all be drawn in the same set.
The Champions League Group Stage pots for 2014-15 are as follows:
What to look out for
- The Group of Death: Just how hard can the Champions League be? Consider the strength of a group such as the following: Real Madrid, Borussia Dortmund, Liverpool and Roma … Or how about Bayern Munich, Manchester City, Ajax and Monaco?
- Recent Reunions: Real Madrid proved to be too strong for Borussia Dortmund last season and may well relish a re-match against their German opponents. Meanwhile, Paris Saint-Germain’s European adventure came to an end against Chelsea in 2013-14 and the Ligue 1 champions will be keen to get a shot at revenge.
The versatile forward feels he is not the man to replace Philipp Lahm, but believes he can still be a leader without wearing the armband
Bayern Munich attacker Thomas Muller has insisted that he is not interested in wearing the captain’s armband for Germany for now and feels other candidates are better suited for the job.
National team coach Joachim Low is set to announce a new skipper following the international retirement of Philipp Lahm after Germany’s successful World Cup campaign, yet Muller has all but ruled himself out of the race to succeed his Bayern team-mate.
“I think there are a number of candidates ahead of me in the pecking order,” the versatile attacker was quoted as saying by Bild.
“Bastian Schweinsteiger was vice-captain, while we also have a very experienced goalkeeper in Manuel Neuer, who is the No.1 in the world for a good reason.
“There’s absolutely no reason to worry about this.
“I think I could be a leader, but I don’t necessarily need the captaincy armband. I don’t need an armband to have a positive influence on the team.”
The 24-year-old has made 56 appearances for Germany so far, scoring 22 goals in the process.
The Morocco international has revealed that the Bayern coach’s desire to sign him proved to be crucial in the end
Mehdi Benatia has stressed that joining Bayern Munich is a dream come true for him and he’s delighted to get the chance to work with head coach Pep Guardiola at his new club.
The Bundesliga champions announced on Tuesday that they have reached an agreement with Roma over the transfer of the 27-year-old, with Benatia set to sign a five-year deal with Bayern upon completion of his medical later this week.
“I am very happy that my transfer to Bayern is happening at last,” the centre-back told Sport1.
“The move dragged on for a bit and at some point I feared that it could fall through.
“But Guardiola desperately wanted to me at Bayern and an agreement was eventually reached. Guardiola is a fantastic trainer and I am looking forward to working with him.
“Bayern have a lot of amazing players and it is a dream come true to be part of this great squad.”
Bayern were keen to sign an extra defender after Javi Martinez was ruled out of action for several months due to a knee injury.
Benatia joined Roma from Udinese in the summer of 2013 and previously wore the jerseys of Clermont, Lorient, Tours and Olympique de Marseille.
The Bundesliga champions are ready to wait a year to land their man if Gladbach don’t lower their demands
Bayern Munich chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has told Borussia Monchengladbach to accept their offer for Sinan Kurt or risk losing the promising youngster on a free transfer in the summer of 2015.
The reigning Bundesliga champions are keen to lure the 18-year-old to the Allianz Arena, but have so far been unable to reach an agreement with his current club.
Kurt recently stressed that he wants to continue his career at Bayern, though, and the Bavarians are ready to wait a year if Monchengladbach don’t lower their demands.
“[Monchengladbach director] Max Eberl wants more money than [Bayern directors] Matthias Sammer and Michael Reschke have offered,” Rummenigge told Munchner Merkur.
“That’s a normal situation, but the player’s contract is due to expire in 2015. I would not forget about that if I were Monchengladbach when setting my asking price.
“If the deal doesn’t happen now, the player will join us on a free transfer in 2015.”
The left winger is regarded as one of the most exciting talents around in Germany, but has yet to make his Bundesliga debut for Monchengladbach.