When Bayern Munich face Inter Milan Saturday night in the UEFA Champions League final at the Bernabeu in Madrid it will be a special occasion for everyone. But it will be even more special for two player who at the start of the season were unwanted in the Spanish capital at Real Madrid and were forced to leave the Bernabeu.
I am talking about the Dutch midfield duo of Arjen Robben and Wesley Sneijder. While Robben joined Bayern Munich for a transfer fee of 24 Million Euros, Sneijder joined Inter Milan for 15 Million Euros. And both were in the end happy to leave Madrid last summer and now they will surely look forward to returning to Madrid.
Robben at Bayern
The 26 year old Dutch winger has been a revelation for Bayern Munich this season. Robben has been as fit as never before, often out due to injuries and that was important for him to improve all through the season. Robben plays on the right wing and his most dangerous weapon are his runs into the centre to take shots on goal with his lethal left foot. Some would say opponents should know this by now, but still Robben is able to score again and again.
Robben has been one of the factors to turn around Bayern's season after a dismal start. The Dutchman along with Frank Ribery on the left make the deadliest wing combination in global club football, which has given Bayern the edge in a number of matches.
Robben scored 23 goals and has nine assists in all competitions and was the man for the crucial goals in the Bundesliga, German Cup and the Champions League. The best of them all was his left footed volley against Manchester United at Old Trafford. What a strike.
Sneijder at Inter
Sneijder who turns 26 next month has been the creative man in midfield for Internationale Milan, a key element in the plans of coach Jose Mourinho, who plays result oriented football rather then football with flair, but if there was any in his team then Sneijder was most likely involved. Still Sneijder has also defended for his team whenever needed like against FC Barcelona at the Nou Camp.
Sneijder has 14 assists and scored eight goals in all competitions for his team. Sneijder was instrumental to set up numerous chances for strikers Samuel Eto'o, Diego Milito and the others.
I really look forward to see these players in action on May 22!
On Saturday night Robben and Sneijder will face each other, but only a few weeks later they will play together for the Netherlands at the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa.
At Real Madrid meanwhile they might look on their own pitch on Saturday night and ask themselves, why did we sell these players...