Arjen Robben and Pep Guardiola appear not to be on the best terms after the Bayern Munich winger was involved in his second penalty tantrum in the space of a week.
Robben was told not to take a penalty in Saturday’s league win over Mainz, so he refused to step up when Guardiola asked him to take Wednesday’s spot-kick against Viktoria Plzen.
The drama started during the weekend’s routine 4-1 triumph over Mainz, which saw Bayern awarded a penalty with the game already sewn up at 3-1. Robben picked up the ball but then slammed it down when Thomas Muller was ordered to take it.
That anger spilt over into the midweek 5-0 rout of Plzen, when Robben won a penalty to hand Bayern the chance to open the scoring.
This time the Dutchman attempted to duck the spot-kick, prompting Guardiola to yell “Arjen” from the bench as he simultaneously pointed to the spot.
Robben flatly refused, forcing Franck Ribery to take it (and score), after which Guardiola was forced to play down the moment, per 101 Great Goals:
Yes, Robben wanted to take it. Why he did not take it, I don’t know. I like players who want to take penalties. Arjen has a big personality. But the team know why Muller was the one who took it on Saturday.
Robben has long been Bayern’s penalty taker, but he has suffered some high-profile misses during that time, not least in the 2011/12 Champions League final when his kick was saved by Petr Cech.
He has since made up for that mistake, scoring the winner in the final 12 months later, but Guardiola’s apparent lack of trust seems to have caused a divide between the two parties.
Bayern will hope it doesn’t disrupt their incredible start to the season, which has seen them go undefeated in nine league outings, win the UEFA Super Cup and pick up nine points from nine in the Champions League.