Bayern Munich winger Arjen Robben believes Liverpool's Anfield stadium is his "worst" ground to play at, looking back on the two occasions he suffered heartbreak there in the UEFA Champions League as a Chelsea player.
The Germans will face the Reds at Anfield on Tuesday in what will be Robben's last ever visit to Merseyside as a Bayern player. He'll leave Bavaria at the end of the season and sat down with the Observer's Nick Ames to discuss his departure and the upcoming fixtures.
On the topic of Anfield, he didn't hide his feelings: "I think, if you ask [about] the worst stadium for me, it’s probably Liverpool. You always have your favourite opponent and there always has to be a negative one."
Turning his attention to the two Champions League exits he suffered there with Chelsea, he opted not to be drawn on discussions about Luis Garcia's 'ghost-goal,' saying "we'll never know" whether it crossed the line.
The Reds' reputation of being cup specialists was well earned at the time, according to Robben:
"At that time [Liverpool] were really capable of being this cup fighter team, also in the FA Cup or [League] Cup. In one or two games they could really live up to it and perform; just not the whole season, which was maybe too much. That was their biggest quality: they were there at the moment they needed to be there.
"Now I think it changed and they developed really well. The manager has done a great job. Last year they were in the Champions League final and at the moment they are top [of the Premier League]. It’s a long, long time ago that they won the league and that’s the one they’re dreaming of."
Robben also touched on his signature skill of cutting inside on his left foot:
The 35-year-old moved to Germany in 2009 after stints with the Blues and Real Madrid. While he played well for the English and Spanish giants, he didn't realise his full potential until he arrived in Bavaria.
He's gone on to win seven Bundesliga titles and the 2012-13 UEFA Champions League, netting the winner in the final.
Bayern have not enjoyed a great first season under new manager Niko Kovac, but their form has improved of late, even if they only narrowly beat Augsburg 3-2 in their last outing. The boss warned his players things won't be easy against the Reds:
Liverpool have been among Europe's most consistent attacking teams, while Bayern's main problems have been at the back. Tuesday's first leg at Anfield could be an explosive affair as a result, with two teams who won't be afraid to attack early and often.
Robben also touched on his future in the interview and didn't rule out a return to England or Spain. He'll be a free agent and could be a prime-value signing as a veteran forward with ample experience who can still do a job as a squad option.
He has started seven Bundesliga contests this year but made a bigger impact in the Champions League with four starts and two goals.