On Thursday, Dutch football legend Arjen Robben announced his decision to retire from football for a second time as a player. The Dutch winger first hung up his boots after leaving Bayern Munich in 2019.
Robben had returned to represent his boyhood club Groningen in 2020 where he played another season of professional football. He had left Munich after a very successful stint in 2019 after winning more trophies than any other place he played.
"Everybody around FC Groningen hoped and wished that Robben would continue for another season, he has decided to stop after much deliberation," Groningen said in a statement
Robben was successful in winning the Eredivisie title in his very first season at PSV Eindhoven after his transfer from Groningen back in 2002. He then went on to win two Premier League titles with Chelsea while also winning, two League Cups and one FA Cup. He lifted the Spanish La Liga trophy during his time with Real Madrid.
One of the 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 last against Sweden in Amsterdam in October 2017.
His first overseas transfer came two years later when he went to Chelsea and played an important 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 last 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 lured back to play for FC Groningen last year.
Playing for the Netherlands, Robben had a major part in propelling the Dutch team to a World Cup final in South Africa in 2010 and a third-place finish in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
But the winger had been plagued throughout his career by injury.
"Looking back on the past season, I have to come to the honest conclusion that the number of match minutes was disappointing," Robben said Thursday.
"The football heart wants to continue..., but the decision to quit is fair and realistic," Robben said