Arjen Robben has admitted that Anfield is ‘the worst stadium’ he has experienced visiting in his career as Bayern Munich prepare to face Liverpool in the Champions League round of 16.
The Dutchman became accustomed with the rigours of playing against the Reds on Merseyside during his spell in the Premier League with Chelsea, at a time when the Blues’ rivalry with Liverpool was one of the hottest contests in the division.
Now into his tenth and final year with Bayern, Robben told The Guardian ahead of Tuesday’s trip to Anfield: “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.”
Robben referred to Bayern’s upcoming clash with Jurgen Klopp’s side as “the worst possible draw,” based in part on troubled memories of Chelsea’s narrow eliminations from the Champions League semi finals at the hands of Liverpool in both 2004/05 and 2006/07.
Asked about the Blues' exit in the former case, a tie which was decided by Luis Garcia’s infamous ‘ghost goal,’ Robben replied: “We’ll never know [whether it went in]." In the latter tie, Chelsea were eliminated on penalties in what the Dutchman referred to as an “emotional game.”
“At that time [Liverpool] were really capable of being this cup fighter team, also in the FA Cup or [League] Cup,” Robben added. In one or two games they could really live up to it and perform; just not the whole season, which was maybe too much.
“That was their biggest quality; they were there at the moment they needed to be there.
“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].
Liverpool have returned home from their warm weather training camp in Marbella as they now turn their attention to their Champions League clash against Bayern Munich on Tuesday night. 🇪🇸🔴— Anfield HQ (@AnfieldHQ) February 15, 2019
“It’s a long, long time ago that they won the league and that’s the one they’re dreaming of.”