Arjen Robben has opened up about his transfer to Bayern Munich - and how he "couldn't have been more wrong" about moving to Germany from Real Madrid.
The Netherlands international penned a poignant letter to himself as part of the Player's Tribune's 'Letter to My Younger Self' series, and provided a significant insight into his professional playing career.
As part of the self-confession, Robben admitted that he was initially reluctant to complete a switch to the Bavarian giants as he considered the Bundesliga to be a "step down" from playing for Real Madrid. It was a decision that he now considers to have been one of the best he's made.
Robben wrote: "Bayern? You’ll see it as a step backward. Of course, they have the league titles and the cup titles, but for you, right now, it’s about winning a Champions League, for which Bayern haven’t been favorites. At Chelsea and at Real Madrid, you didn’t get there, either.
"And I know what you’ll be be thinking when you hear about this move: Now I definitely won’t get there.
"Real Madrid was the biggest club in the world at the time. And you’ll feel that, with them, you’re at the top of the mountain, and anything else is a step down.
That guy has his flaws as a player but I can't say when is the next time that Bayern finds such a hungry & electrifying winger! Love him— Max St-Jacques (@Mia_San_FCB) August 15, 2017
"But here’s something I want you to know: You couldn’t be more wrong about anything in your life. Because coming to Bayern will be the best decision you will ever make."
Robben headed to the Allianz Arena in the summer of 2009 for around £21.5m, and the unfortunately injury-plagued forward has since gone on to plunder 90 goals and 55 assists in 168 appearances for Bayern.
Adding an explanation as to why a switch to the German heavyweights was one he would look back on fondly once he retires, the 33-year-old added it was everything about his new club that would ensure he'd never forget his time in Germany for as long as he lived.
He said: "You’ll be a part of something more at Bayern. Because success won’t just be on the pitch, but on all levels. You’ll see. Financially. Globally. In Germany and across Europe — that badge and those colors will mean something."