Arjen Robben has insisted that he has no regrets over his decision to reject Manchester United and join Chelsea.
The Dutchman was one of European football's most exciting prospects in 2004. The 20-year-old was wanted by a host of top clubs and travelled to England to have a tour around Manchester United's Carrington training ground with none other than Sir Alex Ferguson.
Having sent an official offer to PSV, it looked likely that Robben would move to Old Trafford but Chelsea, recently taken over by Roman Abramovich, swept in with a much bigger offer. Robben chose Stamford Bridge and went on to win two Premier League titles under Jose Mourinho. His career would eventually see him sign a £160,000-a-week contract with Bayern Munich.
He stayed in west London for three years before moving to Real Madrid. However, things did not go according to plan at the Bernabeu and he left two years later for Bavaria. Judging by his massive potential, his failure to settle at Real Madrid was certainly a disappointment.
"If you look at the prizes I won with Chelsea, that says everything you need to say”
Had he decided on a move to Manchester United, his career would have taken a very different path. However, Robben, now 30-years-old, has no regrets over his the path he has chosen and insists rejecting Ferguson and Manchester United was the correct decision.
“I made the right decision, to work with a great manager like Mourinho, and I made a big step there"
“No, because if you look at the prizes I won with Chelsea, that says everything you need to say,” Robben tells The Telegraph, when asked if he regretted rejecting United's advances.
“I made the right decision, to work with a great manager like Mourinho, and I made a big step there, developed myself as a player and won two leagues in three years, two League Cups and an FA Cup.
"It all worked out, you know? I am very happy with how things went and at Bayern, it is the best team, for sure, that I have played with."
Happy in Bavaria
"I am 100 per cent convinced I will stay here for a very long time.”
Before moving to Bayern Munich, Robben had never spent more than three seasons at a professional club. His regular movement suggested that there may be time for him to return to the Premier League.
But with Bayern Munich experiencing so much success under Pep Guardiola, leaving at the juncture of his career seems unlikely. Robben has plans to stick around the Allianz Arena for some time yet and has no intention of moving back to England.
“I am 30 now, it is not like I want to go to a new league,” Robben said. “I have been in England, I have been in Spain, so I don’t have that desire, but that is all to do with the club I am with now. I am 100 per cent convinced I will stay here for a very long time.”