Bayern centurion Arjen Robben named Netherlands Sportsman of the Year
Arjen Robben was named Dutch Sportsman of the Year as football swept Netherlands' most prestigious end-of-year awards on the same night he brought up a century of goals for Bayern Munich.
Robben, 30, became only the third footballer in the history of the biggest Dutch sports accolade to pick up the Jaap Eden Award after Ruud Gullit in 1987 and back-to-back wins for Johan Cruyff in 1973 and 1974.
Robben excelled for Netherlands at the World Cup in Brazil, as he was named the third best player of the tournament after helping his nation to the semifinals, where they lost against Argentina in a penalty shootout.
On Tuesday, Robben scored his 100th competitive goal for Bayern in only his 184th match, and he has been instrumental in the club's dominance in the Bundesliga this year as they retained the title last season with ease.
The winger opened the scoring against Freiburg with a rare header just before half-time in the 2-0 home win. He has now scored 65 goals in 118 Bundesliga games, and with nine goals this season ranks second behind Frankfurt's Alex Meier in the league's scoring charts.
"I did not expect that, with all the great athletes competing for the accolade," Robben said in a live interview on Dutch TV. "I am incredibly proud to have won it, especially as a footballer."
In recent years, the awards have been dominated by gymnast Epke Zonderland, who won four accolades from 2009 to 2013. Other winners came from sports such as swimming, speed skating and cycling in the years since a footballer last won the prize 27 years ago.
Meanwhile, Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal was named Coach of the Year for leading the Dutch campaign in Brazil, the Oranje squad was named Team of the Year and Robin van Persie's stunning diving header against Spain in Brazil was voted the best Sporting Moment of the Year.