Downing admits he's a big fan of the Bayern Munich midfielder.
"Robben is a great player. I didn't see a lot of him before he went to Chelsea because he was only young," Downing told Villa's website.
"But when he went to Chelsea I thought he was really good - quick, a good dribbler and he had a good shot on him.
"He has been one of the players that has stood out. He was injured before one of the games, came in and scored a couple of goals and is a big part of that Dutch team.
"He has done well at Munich as well. It can be an advantage playing on the right or the left. You can ask Ashley too, playing as a right footer on the left.
"It gives the defender a problem if you can use both feet and go on the opposite side. Barcelona do it with Messi on the right and Iniesta on the left and it is probably because you are playing against a full-back who is left-footed and you can cut in onto his weaker foot.
"It tends to work well with me and Ashley (Young) here because we are swapping and it gives defenders problems because it gives them different things to face up to."