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Real Madrid's Robben: I have no Chelsea grudges

Real Madrid winger Arjen Robben insists he has no grudges against Chelsea or former manager Jose Mourinho.

The winger denies he was forced out of Stamford Bridge by former Blues boss Mourinho, but he admits the time was right to move on.

Robben told the Sunday Mirror: "When I look at the way things went at Chelsea in the last year, it was not a nice time for me. Sometimes we played 4-3-3, sometimes it was 4-4-2.

"And every time he put me on the bench, I was so angry. Before the League Cup Final he told me I was substitute again.

"That made me rage with anger. Thank God he put me on, and I was able to be decisive for the team. That lifted my spirit a tiny bit. But when I think about most of our Champions League matches, I get fed up. We were always playing so defensively, there was no room for me. In the end I had just had enough. I wanted to play football again. At Real I am more important as an attacker."

Does Robben bear a grudge against Mourinho after everything that has happened? He said: "I've become a stronger player mentally. Whatever has happened, I do admire Mourinho for the fact that he is a top-class coach.

"I learnt a lot from him. The way he works with players, the way he thinks about football - it is all very impressive and every player must have learnt from Mourinho's coaching at Chelsea.

"But in the end it is not Mourinho who improves you as a player. I improved myself. Mourinho decided the tactics and the line-up for each match, but it is up to each player to be of more value for the team.

"I just treasure all the good moments I had at Chelsea and I forget the rest."

Robben says he has not spoken a word to Mourinho or any of the Chelsea players since he left in a hurry.

"I hardly spoke to anybody at the club. I do regret that. I would have liked to say goodbye properly to a lot of people. But it all happened in a big rush.

"On the Wednesday I heard there was a deal between Real and Chelsea, on the Thursday I was on a plane to Madrid.

"Even if I had wanted, I could not have said goodbye.

"I have always had a good rapport with the fans. This is why I wrote something in the match programme the other day. I wanted to thank them for supporting me in bad times or when I was injured.

"The Chelsea fans only saw the real Arjen Robben in the first season. Not in the second or third year I was at the club."

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Tribal Football Staff

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