Bayern Munich and Tears Of Joy
By Nick Webster
There's no crying in football. Grown men blubbering in front of millions. But just once I'll let it slide as the tears of Arjen Robben at Wembley Stadium told a story 12 months in the making.
This time last year on his own turf at the Alianz Arena, Robben had missed the penalty that would've given his club, Bayern Munich their fifth UEFA Champions League title. His feeble effort from twelve yards was saved by Chelsea's Petr Cech and history was changed. Robben has lived with that everyday so it was perhaps fitting that the football gods decided that the Dutchman no longer has to live with the villain tag and instead has become the most popular Dutchman in Germany.
With three deft touches Robben showed exactly why he has been so highly rated over the last decade with Chelsea, Real Madrid and now the German, champions.
A silky player with a magical left foot, Robben has flattered to deceive on multiple occasions but when it mattered, in the biggest game, with redemption on the line he delivered and the tears flowed.
The waterworks were out on the other side of the pitch as well. Borussia Dortmund who gave so much to the 1st ever Champions League final were stunned by the sudden ending. The team from the heartland will feel they deserved more as the forced Bayern goalkeeper, Manuel Neuer into a series of stunning saves while coming back from a goal down.
Extra-time seemed liked a certainty but as former England international Gary Lineker so rightly pointed out - "football is a game of 90 minutes and then the Germans win" - Robben delivered in the 89th minute.
I feel desperately sorry for Dortmund and their coach Jurgen Klopp. They have given so much to the tournament this year and with their best players being poached it will be a big ask for them to come back to this stage next season however someone has to lose.
When the final whistle blew a three short minutes after Robben's dribble, the Dutchman fell to his knees as the realisation hit him. He was a European Champion and showed the world that while footballers are sometimes considered overpaid, egotistical maniacs, this footballer on this night knew exactly what he had achieved for his club and for himself.
Football came home.