Bayern Munich winger Arjen Robben has admitted that moving to the German club in 2009 felt like a ‘step back’ from Real Madrid, 90min reports.
The 32-year-old was sold by Los Blancos after an intake of galacticos, including the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Kaka.
And Robben has revealed that he was reluctant to leave initially, but was eventually convinced to join Bayern.
“It was a bit of a weird summer with the return of Florentino Perez as president. And then all the new signings arrived. Cristiano Ronaldo, Kaka, Karim Benzema and Xabi Alonso all came to Madrid for a huge amount of money,” Robben told Fox Sports – via Goal.
“We were told that the club would be able to make some money on me if they sold me. But I initially did not want to leave. I had possibly my best pre-season ever, but I still did not get a chance, so I had to make a decision.
“There was contact with Bayern, but it was a difficult decision, the most difficult one of my career. Bayern were not among the European elite at that moment – like we are now – and it was a step back for me.
“I went for it in the end, because the club did everything within their power to sign me. And the presence of Louis van Gaal obviously played a role as well.
“I am a real Bayern man now, I am into my eighth season here and I have become a part of this club.”