Bayern Munich winger Arjen Robben admits he felt he was taking a step back in his career when he moved to the Bundesliga in 2009.
The Dutchman, who joined Bayern from Real Madrid for around 25million euros, did not expect to enjoy the success he has since experienced in Bavaria.
"There had been contact with Bayern, but it was a difficult decision to take," Robben told Dutch TV channel Fox Sports. "It was the most difficult decision of my life.
"Bayern were not one of Europe's top teams back then, unlike today, and so it was a step backwards for me."
Robben has won five Bundesliga titles, the DFB-Pokal four times and the Champions League with Bayern, but he had been determined to win more trophies in Spain.
That summer Real invested in the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Kaka, Xabi Alonso and Karim Benzema, however, and Robben soon realised his opportunities would be limited.
"This is my eighth campaign here now and I am part of this club"
He ultimately agreed to move to Bayern just days before the transfer window closed.
"We were told that the club could make some money by selling me, but I really didn't want to go," Robben said.
"I looked back at what had probably been the best pre-season of my career, but I still wasn't given a chance, so I had to make a decision.
"In the end, I signed on because the club did everything within their power to convince me. Even (then Bayern coach) Louis van Gaal was a reason."
Robben does not regret the move now, though, given the glory he has tasted in Munich.
"I'm Bayern through and through now," said the 32-year-old, whose contract with Bayern expires at the end of the season.
"This is my eighth campaign here now and I am part of this club."