Arjen Robben names Liverpool's ground Anfield as his least favourite stadium to play in
The Dutchman will be playing there again on Tuesday night
Bayern Munich take on Liverpool at Anfield on Tuesday night in the first leg of their Champions League tie, but their talismanic winger Arjen Robben has admitted that it is his least favourite stadium - at least in terms of coming and playing there as opposition.
In an interview with the Guardian, Robben said “I think, if you ask [about] the worst stadium for me, it’s probably Liverpool. You always have your favourite opponent and there always has to be a negative one.”
He also acknowledged that it was 'the worst possible draw' for Bayern when the fixture was announced.
Robben suffered two heartbreaking Champions League semi-final exits at Anfield whilst playing for Chelsea in 2004/05 and 2006/07. The first came through the infamous Luis Garcia 'ghost goal' that will live long in the memory for Blues fans, the second through a penalty shoot-out in which his spot-kick was saved by Pepe Reina.
Interestingly, Robben notes the difference he sees between the current Liverpool team under Jurgen Klopp and the Rafa Benitez-led side he faced over a decade ago, which he believes didn't have the same strength in depth to consistently challenge on all fronts and match their impressive Champions League runs with a substantial Premier League title challenge.
“At that time [Liverpool] were really capable of being this cup fighter team, also in the FA Cup or [League] Cup,” he explained. “In one or two games they could really live up to it and perform; just not the whole season, which was maybe too much."
He doesn't, however, think this is the case with the Reds this season, who look to be the real deal, even if they do fall short of a first league title in 28 years.
“Now I think it changed and they developed really well. The manager has done a great job. Last year they were in the Champions League final and at the moment they are top [of the Premier League]. It’s a long, long time ago that they won the league and that’s the one they’re dreaming of," he told the Guardian.
It is Robben's tenth and final season with the Bavarian club and he will be hoping to add another European title to his winner's medal from 2012/13, although judging from his comments, he knows that even getting over this first knockout hurdle won't come easy.