Robben concedes United class
Arjen Robben concedes Manchester United are just as strong as the Chelsea side he starred in three years ago.
Last Updated: 07/04/10 10:23am
Arjen Robben concedes Manchester United are just as strong as the Chelsea side he starred in three years ago, ahead of Wednesday's clash with Bayern Munich.
A mouth-watering UEFA Champions League quarter-final second-leg lies in wait at Old Trafford on Wednesday night, with Robben well aware of the capabilities of Sir Alex Ferguson's side.
Robben was part of a Blues squad crowned champions of England in 2005 and 2006 before they were pipped to the domestic title by United in 2007 in the Dutchman's final season with the London club.
Ferguson's side have since gone on to win the Premier League twice more and lifted the European Cup in 2008 with victory over Chelsea in Moscow.
But United's league hopes for this campaign suffered a blow over the weekend as Chelsea triumphed 2-1 at Old Trafford to move to the top of the table - a result which came just days after the Red Devils were beaten 2-1 by Bayern in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final at the Allianz Arena.
Having sat that game out with a calf strain, Robben is hoping to be fit to play against the old enemy once again in the return match.
And despite United's recent problems, the 26-year-old is expecting them to provide as tough a challenge as ever.
Asked if he felt United had become weaker since he left Chelsea and English football, Robben said: "No, I don't think that. They are a good team and that was seen in their results last year.
"Obviously Cristiano Ronaldo has left and he is a great player, but there are other players (at United) as well."
Robben departed the Premier League to join Real Madrid - as Ronaldo would do two seasons later - before moving on to Bayern last summer.
The midfielder has fond memories of his three years with Chelsea but has no regrets about how things have developed for him since then.
"It (the move to Real) was such a long time ago," Robben said.
"I had a great time at Chelsea but I also had an opportunity to go to another big club like Real Madrid.
"I'm happy with my career so far and I don't think I left England too early."
Robben's calf problem also kept him out of Bayern's Bundesliga win over Schalke at the weekend but a late decision will be made on his fitness after he came through the first 15 minutes of a training session at Old Trafford on Tuesday which was open to the media.
Asked if he felt he could play a full part in Wednesday's match, Robben said: "Yes, I hope so. I'm ready, I'm here and I didn't travel just to be in the stands."