Scorer of the Champions League-winning goal for Bayern Munich last year, Arjen Robben will be a vital part of the Netherlands’ World Cup attempt to go one better in 2014. The Dutch forward’s track record suggests he’ll be a good value betting tip for man of the match, assist and goalscorer individual markets, although he could certainly provide a big enough impact to challenge for player of the tournament.
Robben was originally snapped up by local club FC Groningen, where he was drafted into the 1999/2000 season senior squad having played from 1996 in the youth side. Robben was named player of the year for his first season with the club, where he scored eight goals over his time there before moving to PSV in 2002.
After two with the Eredivisie-winning squad in 2002/03, Robben signed for Chelsea and immediately proved to be a crucial player in their Premier League title-winning 2004/05 season. Robben scored 19 goals during his 105 appearances and three seasons with the English side, claiming an FA Cup, two League Cups and a pair of Premier League titles in 2004/05 and 2005/06.
His three-year tenure at Chelsea came to an end as he moved to Real Madrid for an estimated £24 million transfer in August 2007. Robben help claim the 2007/08 La Liga crown with the Spanish side and was a vial playmaker for the side, scoring 13 goals in his 65 appearances before he moved to Bayern Munich as Cristiano Ronaldo and Kaka entered the fray at Real Madrid to push him out of starting contention.
A move to Bayern Munich was the answer in August 2009 for a €25 transfer fee, Robben making a sensational debut with two goals as a substitute against Wolfsburg. Robben's achievements with Bayern Munich are a proud list, starting with two Bundesliga titles in 2009/10 and 2012/13, the latter part of the treble success alongside the DFB-Pokal in both seasons, plus the 2012/13 UEFA Champions League crown in which Robben collected the winning goal against Borussia Dortmund.
Robben has an International career which spans 73 matches from 2003 up until the start of 2014, with 22 goals in that period including five in his last 10. In the 2006 World Cup he claimed two man of the match awards and two goals from four appearances, while he then went on to recover from injury to score two more goals during the 2010 World Cup, including a critical semi-final goal to beat Uruguay 3-2 in the last of his seven appearances.
Robben’s attacking Forward role will assist striker Robin Van Persie with plenty of opportunities, although Robben is no stranger to a goal himself from his recent 12 months of fine form. Robben played a vital role in 2014 World Cup qualification matches for Holland, scoring a goal in each of the final trio of his five appearances.
Arjen Robben World Cup Betting Tips
For a player with such a direct and dangerous style, he has been criticised for not controlling games to the extent he should. Although a good value tip for player of the tournament, Robben is a player that punters must consider for individual player markets such as goalscorer, assist and man of the match in all Netherlands’ 2014 World Cup matches.
Louis Van Gaal played Robben in a more central attacking role when Netherlands demolished Spain 5-1 in their opening game and it paid off when the Bayern player scored twice. Robben made it three goals in two games when scoring in the 3-2 defeat of Australia in the next match and his World Cup top scorer odds were slashed from 80/1 pre tournament to 10/1. Robben drew a blank in the 2-0 victory against Chile but ended the group stage trailing the leading tournament goalscorers by one goal, before assisting a late penalty to help Netherlands recover 2-1 against Mexico in a dramatic final five minutes of their last-16 game.