With the 2014 FIFA World Cup due to start in a matter of hours, Arjen Robben gives his thoughts on this year’s contenders, his own World cup experiences and this year’s tournament.

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  • By Adrian Bucher
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With the Netherlands set to embark on a difficult group-stage campaign, Arjen Robben, speaking to FIFA.com, talked about his World Cup experiences. “A World Cup is always something special and I am very excited to be in Brazil for this one. I have special memories about every World Cup I have watched or played in, but South Africa was a really great tournament for me.”

Though the tournament in South Africa is not remembered fondly by several of the Oranje players, including Wesley Sneijder in a recent interview, Robben reserves affection for the Dutch’s 2010 campaign: “It was obviously a big disappointment we lost the Final, but I am still really proud of what we all achieved together.”

Going into Brazil, many have commented on the lack of experience in the Netherland’s squad this summer, the Bayern Munich player, though acknowledging the rather young average age of the squad, believes that what really matters is the end result: “Experience is important, especially mentally. But on the pitch it is all about playing in the right way, doing what you have to do – and it doesn’t matter if you are 22 or 32. You just have to do what is asked for.”

When giving his thoughts on who the pre-tournament favourites are, the Groningen-native outlined his pick: “In my opinion Brazil, Argentina, Spain and Germany are the favourites.”

However, before any sort of predictions based on performance can be given, nations will have to battle it out in the group stages. After noting the strength of the Spanish national team, Robben also shared his views on the groups other contenders: “Chile also have a very strong team with really good players who want to play in an attacking way. And Australia are physically strong. We have played a few matches against them and were never able to win.”

This will be Arjen Robben’s third World Cup as he looks to add to his 75 caps.

Adrian Bucher (39 Posts)