Monday, June 24, 2019 | ePaper

Robben and Ribery: End of an era as iconic duo depart

  • Print





Bayern Munich marked the end of an era on Saturday, as iconic duo Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery both scored in their final Bundesliga game to secure a seventh straight league title for Bayern.
Ribery, 36, and Robben, 35, will both leave the club at the end of this season after a decade of unprecedented success. Others such as Thomas Mueller, Manuel Neuer and Jerome Boateng have also been key figures in Bayern's treble-winning golden generation, but it is Robben and Ribery who stand out.
"Franck and Arjen are great players who shaped the most successful decade in Bayern's history," said club CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge in May.
Flying Dutchman Robben announced his departure in December, but remained injured for much of the season before returning to standing ovations against Hanover earlier this month.
A day later, Ribery confirmed that he too would be leaving the club at the end of the season, ending a 12-year spell in which he has won 22 titles.
Ribery, who has a close relationship with both the fans and club president Uli Hoeness, said in May that Munich would "always be my home".
Ten of his 12 years were spent playing alongside Robben, who joined Bayern from Real Madrid in 2009.
The Dutchman didn't immediately know whether he would take to life in Munich. "At the time I was sceptical," Robben told the club website last year. "Now I know that it was the best decision of my career."
For the following decade, Robben and Ribery electrified the Allianz Arena on opposing flanks, earning the joint nickname "Robbery".
"We clicked with each other from the first day," said Robben last week.
Together, they laid waste to dozens of defences in a pincer movement of pace and quick feet, the left-footed Robben cutting inside from the right flank while right-footer Ribery did so from the left.
Their relationship, though, was not always easy.
In April 2012, Ribery punched Robben in the dressing room after a dispute over who would take a free-kick, and the Dutchman later admitted that he thought they would never play alongside each other again.
A year later, they had buried the hatchet as Bayern won an historic treble and Ribery set up Robben for an 89th-minute winner over Borussia Dortmund in the 2013 Champions League final at Wembley.
That season confirmed the lasting legacy of the "Robbery" era: Bayern's return to the very top of European football.
When Robben joined the club in 2009, it was nearly a decade since Bayern had last reached the Champions League semi-finals.
Since then, they have made the last four in seven of the last ten seasons, and appeared in the final in 2010, 2012 and 2013.
After Saturday's triumph, Robben and Ribery have now won eight Bundesliga titles together, and are aiming for a fifth German Cup next weekend.

More News For this Category

France beat Brazil 2-1 in extra time, reach WCup quarters

France beat Brazil 2-1 in extra time, reach WCup quarters

AP :As the score remained tied in extra time and the clock ticked toward a penalty kicks shootout, France's stress kept increasing. Hosting the Women's World Cup, Les Bleues are

Argentina beat Qatar to escape elimination at Copa America

Argentina beat Qatar to escape elimination at Copa America

AP, Porto Alegre :Lionel Messi avoided another disappointment with the national team as Argentina escaped elimination in the group stage of the Copa America.Lautaro Martinez and Sergio Aguero scored a

Colombia beat Paraguay at Copa America to stay perfect

Colombia beat Paraguay at Copa America to stay perfect

AP, Salvador :Colombia beat Paraguay 1-0 Sunday with a second-string team to stay perfect at the Copa America with three wins and without conceding any goals. The win also helped

Goalkeeper gaffe helps Brazil trounce Peru to reach Copa quarter-finals

Goalkeeper gaffe helps Brazil trounce Peru to reach Copa quarter-finals

AFP, Sao Paulo :Peru goalkeeper Pedro Gallese committed a horrendous error as Brazil ensured top spot in their Copa America group on Saturday with a 5-0 victory in Sao Paulo.Goals

Retiring Spain star Torres eyes future coaching role

Retiring Spain star Torres eyes future coaching role

Spanish World Cup winner Fernando Torres said Sunday his body could no longer cope with the physical demands of football after announcing his retirement from the game.But the 35-year-old, once

US rout Trinidad, avenge shock World Cup qualifier loss

US rout Trinidad, avenge shock World Cup qualifier loss

AFP, Los Angeles :The US kicked their Gold Cup campaign into high gear by steamrolling Trinidad and Tobago 6-0 and avenging a 2017 defeat that sent the Americans crashing out

Messi should take Argentina break: Kempes

Messi should take Argentina break: Kempes

Xinhua, Buenos Aires :Argentine football great Mario Kempes said Friday that Lionel Messi should take a break from international football in the interests of himself and Argentina's national team."As things

Sanchez sends Chile into Copa America quarter-finals

Sanchez sends Chile into Copa America quarter-finals

AFP, Salvador :Alexis Sanchez put a miserable club season with Manchester United behind him as he sent Chile into the Copa America quarter-finals with the winning goal in Friday's 2-1

USA the 'target' in World Cup knockouts, says Lloyd

USA the 'target' in World Cup knockouts, says Lloyd

Agency :Carli Lloyd says that everyone is gunning for the United States after they moved into the knockout stages of the Women's World Cup as Group F winner with

FIFA's No. 2 Samoura to oversee African football reforms

FIFA's No. 2 Samoura to oversee African football reforms

Agency :FIFA secretary general Fatma Samoura has been appointed general delegate for Africa for six months starting August 1 as part of ongoing reforms within African football's governing body.The