Dutch football great Arjen Robben announced his retirement from his youth club FC Groningen on Thursday, ending an illustrious career spanning two decades. Regarded as to be some of the best wingers of his generation, Robben rejoined FC Groningen final year after stints that saw him win accolades at Chelsea, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich, in later years. “I’ve determined to stop with my active football career,” Robben said in a Tweet. “It was once a difficult choice,” said the 37-year-old of his decision, which was once also confirmed by FC Groningen.
Ik heb besloten om te stoppen met mijn actieve voetbalcarriere. Een heel moeilijke keuze. Ik wil iedereen bedanken voor alle hartverwarmende steun!
Groetjes, Arjen pic.twitter.com/aAEdxdL5tU
— Arjen Robben (@ArjenRobben) July 15, 2021
“Everybody around FC Groningen hoped and wished that Robben would continue for another season, he has determined to stop after much deliberation,” the club said in a commentary.
One of the crucial fastest and most skillful dribblers in his prime, with a devastating left foot, Robben scored more than 200 goals at club level and 37 for the Netherlands, the final against Sweden in Amsterdam in October 2017.
After his debut at FC Groningen all over the 2000-01 season, Robben transferred to PSV in 2002-03.
His first out of the country transfer came two years later when he went to Chelsea and played crucial role in helping the west London club win the English Premier League in 2005-06.
Robben moved to Real Madrid in 2007 for a reported fee of around 35 million euros, before joining Bayern in 2009, where he played a major role in the southern German club’s success.
The bald Dutchman scored his final league goal for Bayern in May 2019, amassing 99 goals in 201 Bundesliga matches.
Robben said a month later he would retire, but he was once lured back to play for FC Groningen final year.
Playing for the Netherlands, Robben had a major part in propelling the Dutch team to a World Cup last in South Africa in 2010 and a third place finish in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
But the winger had been plagued during his career by injury.
“Having a look back on the past season, I have to come to the sincere conclusion that the number of match minutes was once disappointing,” Robben said Thursday.
“The football heart wants to continue…, but the decision to quit is reasonable and realistic,” Robben said.
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