Pitchside Europe

Ballon d’Eurosport – No.26: Arjen Robben


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This summer Eurosport is counting down the world's greatest footballers, as voted by our international network of journalists. We will reveal one player per day, culminating in the election of the first Ballon d'Eurosport on July 19.

The Ballon d'Eurosport explained.

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Part of the appeal of spindly wingers is that you never know what you’re going to get. When the flamboyant Dutchman is hot, he practically self-combusts. When he is cold, he looks half-baked.

When it mattered this season, Robben was positively sizzling, no more so than in the Champions League final victory over Borussia Dortmund. Bayern Munich are a team who are never really reliant on one player, but Robben is one of the most potent weapons in their armour.

Robben has incredible pace; he even seems to get quicker with the ball at his feet. He can play on both flanks and loves cutting inside, mostly because it allows him to showcase one of the best long-shots in the modern game.

He has his faults – mostly on account of a temperament that is suited to Bayern’s historic FC Hollywood culture, but perhaps less in keeping with their more team-oriented ethic nowadays.

Having only played in around half their games this season, many thought he would miss out on the Champions League final. It’s a good thing he didn’t.

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How Eurosport voted

We asked the editorial teams of 10 countries/areas around the Eurosport network to compile their list of the world's 25 best players.

Then we did the sums, Eurovision-style. It's simple: a first-place vote is worth 25 points, second place is 24... all the way down to one point for a 25th-place vote.

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