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 By Mark Lovell

Arjen Robben on par with Cruyff, Gullit, Van Basten, Rijkaard - Heynckes

Jupp Heynckes regrets Netherlands' failure to qualify for the World Cup, despite it meaning that Arjen Robben will be able to concentrate solely on Bayern Munich following his retirement from international football on Tuesday.

Heynckes is in his fourth spell with Bayern and a second stint in charge of Robben, having worked with the 33-year-old when the club won the Treble in 2013.

The interim Bayern coach said players like the ex-Netherlands international "are few and far between."

He said at an Audi sponsorship event: "I think it's a real shame that [Netherlands] failed to qualify for the World Cup because traditionally it's one of the major footballing countries producing some of the great players like [Johann] Cruyff, [Ruud] Gullit, [Marco] van Basten and [Frank] Rijkaard and many, many more.

"You have to place Arjen on a par with these greats because he has been an exceptional player for [Netherlands] over the years -- just like the ones I have just named. It's a real shame. But of course he can now focus on Bayern Munich -- and this is what he will do.

"As I have said in the past, players like Arjen Robben are few and far between. He is highly professional, his self-motivation is unlike most other players. Therefore, I don't think his age is decisive with Arjen. I think he will be able to play this season and next at an extremely high level."

Mark Lovell covers Bayern Munich for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter: @LovellLowdown.


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