Reuters

Soccer-Robben and Sneijder return to wow Madrid as enemies

Fri, 21 May 20:24:00 2010

Bayern Munich winger Arjen Robben and Inter Milan playmaker Wesley Sneijder triumphantly return to the Bernabeu on Saturday having shown their old employers how good they could have been had they stayed at Real Madrid.

The Dutch World Cup duo meet in the Champions League final at Real's famous stadium but their friendship will be put on hold as both sides try to complete unprecedented trebles.

"Before the game and during the game we are not friends. Afterwards we will talk," Sneijder told a news conference on Friday after a remarkable season where he went from Real cast-off to Inter's guiding light.

The 25-year-old settled in immediately at the San Siro after being shown the door by Real last August and has linked Jose Mourinho's midfield and attack with aplomb en-route to Inter's first European Cup final since 1972.

However, Sneijder is so focused on the match itself that his return to the Bernabeu means little personally.

"I'm happy to be back. But it will just be a game and for me it's not something special," he murmured shyly.

Robben was similarly let go by the Spanish side amid concerns about his fitness but has been in stunning form for Bayern and scored two wonderful goals to down Fiorentina and Manchester United in previous rounds.

The 26-year-old will be even more important to Bayern on Saturday given fellow inspiration Franck Ribery is suspended but he will come up against an Inter defence famed for its impenetrability.

"He is not the only one in the team. We can't just focus on Robben," added Sneijder.

Robben said he had spoken to Sneijder in the run-up to the game and wanted to highlight how well their respective teams had done in reaching the final having been a long way from favourites when this season's competition began.

"Of course I have been in touch because he is a good friend of mine, and we can both be very proud to be back here in Madrid," he said.

"But there is no element of revenge, I had two good years here in Madrid, but I am at another club now and that's it."

(Editing by Alison Wildey; To query or comment on this story email sportsfeedback@thomsonreuters.com)

 

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