32-year-old Arjen Robben is one player many would see as being in the perfect position to accept a big money move to the Chinese Super League having achieved so much in the game, but in a searingly honest radio interview the Bayern Munich man has stated cash is not his priority and has some choice words for those making the move at their peak.
Aside from his short stint at Groningen, the Netherlands international has won trophies at each of the European giants he’s lined out for.
Since joining PSV in 2002, Robben has won the Eredivisie, two Premier League titles with Chelsea, one La Liga crown with Real Madrid and five Bundesliga winners medals with Bayern Munich as well as the Champions League in 2013.
It is fair to say then that Robben, in as much of a cliché as it is, ‘owes nothing to the sport’ in Europe. Despite this, the Bedum native claims money has never been a motivating factor for him and his happy to stay in Bavaria.
“It is all about a certain madness that is ongoing in China right now,” the winger told Dutch station Radio 538.
“They are offering some crazy figures. I also got some offers. The money on show is so crazy that you at least have to consider it.
“They are offering maybe four, five or six times the amounts you get at a big club. But money has never driven me. That is why I have had such a great career. It is about football for me.”
While this is a commendable stance to take, the temptation for some others on this continent has been too much to resist with insane money being placed under their noses.
Even with the possibility of putting any financial worries to one side for life though, the ex-Chelsea man cannot wrap his head around players departing in their prime, and is cutting in his analysis of those who have already set sail.
“A transfer to China would be something else entirely. That is basically acknowledging your career is over. I want to keep playing at the highest level as long as possible.
“I do not understand players going to China at the age of 27 or 28. Those guys are at the peak of their career. That is a waste really. You only get one career. I sort of understand players who are already in their 30s.”
Rob Lyons, Pundit Arena