Bayern Munich winger, Arjen Robben, has hailed his teammates’ mental strength, following the German side’s dramatic Champions League semi-final victory against Real Madrid.
Bayern needed penalties to secure their place in this year’s final, where they will face Chelsea, with Real seemingly crumbling under the pressure of the shootout, much to the chagrin of fans who had picked Madrid to win on Betfair.
With this year’s final held at Bayern’s Allianz Arena, the Germans were determined to make sure it was they, and not the Spaniards, walking out onto their home pitch on May 19.
That determination, according to Robben, is what made the difference between Bayern and Real, when the penalty shoot-out became the only way to separate the two sides following a 3-3 aggregate draw over the two legs.
“I am very proud of my team, because when you start a game like this, and after 14 minutes you are 2-0 down, then you have to be mentally strong to cope with it and recover from it.”
“I think, overall, [...] we played some really good football. We were really hungry. Everybody was really aggressive. “In the end, I think we can say it is deserved”, said the former Real star.
Robben will come up against another of his former sides, when he lines up opposite Chelsea, next month. The Dutch winger left the club for Madrid, in 2007. He will have extra motivation to get one over his former employers.
Jupp Heynckes’ men will now go into the final at the Allianz Arena full of confidence that they can win their first Champions League title since 2001. Chelsea will be without four frontline players when they take on Bayern. John Terry, Ramires, Branislav Ivanovic, and Raul Meireles, are ruled out of the final through suspension.
Not many would have backed Chelsea to come through their semi-final against Barcelona, however, and Bayern will need to be at their best if they are to triumph. The Blues are outsiders for the win with Betfair Champions League betting.