Some things in life are certain: death, taxes and Arjen Robben cutting in onto his left foot and finding the corner.
The top-level footballers all have their trademark moves. Diego Maradona and Johan Cruyff both brought in their own original skills and you see those tricks everywhere these days – from Sunday League to the Champions League.
Robben’s is a simple but effective one that he continues to use to devastating effect despite not getting any younger. The Dutchman is predictable in the sense that you know what he’s going to do, but at the same time he is almost unstoppable to defend against.
“I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.” – this quote from the one and only Bruce Lee definitely wasn’t intended to describe the former Chelsea and Real Madrid winger but it does relate to him in a weird sort of way.
While it is a tad strange that defenders don’t prioritise showing Robben onto his considerably weaker right-foot, he has perfected the art of shaping to shoot from the right side of the pitch to the point where he probably warrants a definition in the dictionary.
Robben – To cut in from the right flank and score a worldie with the left foot.
Genuinely, there aren’t many better sights in football than seeing Robben pick up the ball, slamom past a couple of challenges and bending one into the top bins.
Sometimes predictability can be a beautiful thing and it’s definitely the case with Robben, who is the subject of many compilations on YouTube in tribute to his archetypal cut-ins.
The 35-year-old loves his trademark trick so much than even when he has an open goal, he’ll still check back inside rather than hit it with his right – as he proved against Augsburg in September.
Weirdly, despite his collection of worldies over the years, it still does feel as though Robben is appreciated enough.
He was a good and highly useful player for both Chelsea and Real Madrid, where he won a total of three league titles across the two spells.
But he found a whole new gear at Bayern Munich – the pinnacle being his last-gasp winner against Borussia Dortmund in the 2013 Champions League final at Wembley, where he completed a historic treble for the Bavarians to under Jupp Heynckes.
He’ll be leaving the club after 10 scintillating seasons in the summer window but will no doubt go down as one of the club’s greatest ever players – with his record standing at an insane 143 goals and 101 assists in 305 games at the time of writing. Not too bad for a one-footed player…