Success with Bayern prepares Robben for World Cup

By Theo Ruizenaar

ROTTERDAM (Reuters) - Until last year, Arjen Robben's career was full of inconsistency and injury but a spectacular season with Bayern Munich has turned things around for the Dutch winger.

His forays down the right wing, long-range goals and impact on team spirit made the soft-spoken Robben a fan favorite in his first season with Bayern, after he was nudged out of Real Madrid last August to make space for Cristiano Ronaldo and Kaka.

Robben, 26, has long been prone to injuries which interrupted his career at Madrid and at Chelsea.

At Bayern, who paid some 25 million euros ($33.5 million) to sign him, he swiftly found his niche under manager and compatriot Louis van Gaal, overshadowing French team mate Franck Ribery.

While Ribery had a season plagued by injuries and off-the-pitch problems, Robben became the club's top scorer, contributing goals that knocked Fiorentina, Manchester United and Lyon out of the Champions League.

Dutch coach Bert van Marwijk is delighted with Robben's current form, though nervous about any effects the prolonged season might have on him.

(Editing by Clare Fallon)