Dutch football have gifted the world many a legends over the years. In recent times the famous quartet of Robin Van Persie, Wesley Sneijder, Dirk Kuyt and Arjen Robben were instrumental in two of Holland’s greatest World Cup runs finishing 2nd and 3rd in 2010 and 2014.
All of the 4 are past their primes now. The birthday boy Arjen Robben recently hung up his international boots after failing to reach his 4th straight world cup finals with Holland.
On his birthday, Sports-nova wishes the Dutchman with a special tribute by providing with a collection of his top 5 goals.
5) Versus Fiorentina, UEFA Champions League 2010 at Stadio Artemio Franchi, Florence:
It was the goal that signified the rebirth of the Dutchman following his move from Real Madrid. It was the pre quarter final return leg of the UEFA Champions League at Florence. After a 2-1 victory for the Bavarians in the first leg, the La Viola were cruising after Stefan Jovetic made it 3-1 in the 64th minute. Robben received the ball on the right flank no sooner after the play had resumed. He started his trademark “cut-inside-run” and dribbled past 3 defenders before firing a thunderous shot into the top left corner in between 4 defenders that gave Sebastian Frey no chance. Bayern lost the match 2-3 but were through to the next round on away goals rule. They went onto reach the finals before losing to Inter eventually.
4) Versus Spain, FIFA World Cup 2014 at Arena Fonte Nova, Salvador:
It was revenge served best for the Dutch in their opening match of the 2014 World Cup against Spain (Spain had beaten them in the 2010 World Cup final) and Robben put the finishing touch with one of the best solo goals ever witnessed. With Holland leading 4-1 in the 80th minute of the game, Sneijder put a through ball from deep in the Dutch half for the Netherlands’ number 11. Robben started the run from his own box with Gerrard Pique and Sergio Ramos running on his shoulders. The Bayern Munich forward outran the two superstar defenders in their 70 yard sprint before stopping, turning and putting Iker Casillas onto the ground. After toying with the famous trio for a bit and going clear he eventually made it 5-1 making it a carnival for the Holland fans.
3) Versus Villarreal CF, La Liga 2009 at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu, Madrid:
Robben is one of those rare players who failed to impress at Real Madrid before being a world celebrated player with another club. During his two seasons at the 12 times European Champions, he scored a few memorable goals. But none of his goals for the Los Blancos were near as good as the one against Villarreal CF on 4th January 2009. After receiving the ball from team mate Lassana Diarra on the left flank, it was another of his trademark runs that he started. After cutting in he went past 3 defenders with ease, before fooling another to go to the ground and creating just enough space to get his shot away in between 3 converging players. The shot gave the Yellow Submarine keeper no chance before kissing the top left corner.
2) Versus RB Leipzig, Bundesliga 2017 at the Red Bull Arena, Leipzig:
It was one of those magical magical matches with an unforgettable comeback from the record German Champions. After trailing 2-4 up until the 84th minute, Bayern made it 4-4 in the 91st. In the 95th minute, Thomas Mueller’s pass found the Dutchman. After starting another of his trademark left flank runs, Robben dribbled around Marvin Compper and continued with his run. Next he beat Stefan Ilsankner with his pace before entering the box. With an onrushing Peter Gulasci making the angle as short as possible, the 2014 Dutch player of the year found the back of the net with an audacious chip to break Leipzig hearts.
1) Versus Fulham, Premier League 2004 at Craven Cottage, London:
Long before he was a Bayern Munich and Real Madrid player, an Arjen Robben (with hair still on his head!) was plying his trade in England with Chelsea FC. His best goal in the Blue of the London club came in the Fulham (London) derby against Fulham FC in Chelsea’s league winning 2004 season. In the away derby, Paulo Ferreira’s cross from the right was headed out by Zesh Rehman only to find Arjen Robben waiting outside the box. The Chelsea number 18 started his way into the box like a man possessed and got around 1-2-3-4 defenders before getting his shot away in between 2 more and an onrushing Mark Crossley.
Photo by Lorenzo Bl