Arjen Robben retires from football after 21-year football career
Arjen Robben has announced his retirement from football after a 21-year playing career.
The former Dutch international made over 300 appearances for Chelsea, Real Madrid, and Bayern Munich, and won a league title in every country he played in.
But, the 37-year-old has struggled with injuries after coming out of retirement in 2020 and rejoining boyhood club Groningen in 2020. He endured a seven-month absence last season after making his second debut.
Robben also made 96 appearances for the Dutch national team and is the ninth-most capped Netherlands international.
In a heartfelt statement, Robben said: “I have decided to stop my active football career. A year ago I announced my comeback as a FC Groningen player. I embarked on this adventure with great energy and enthusiasm.
“I only had to deal with physical setbacks quite quickly, which prevented me from playing matches for a very long time. After a long road of trial and error I finally managed to play the last games of the season.
“Looking back on the past season, I have to come to the honest conclusion that the number of match minutes was disappointing.
“I knew in advance that this could happen, but I took up the challenge and gave everything to make it work. And not only me, everyone within the club and in my immediate environment has helped and supported me at all times.
“I am also not unaffected by the warm reactions and support from all football fans.”
After breaking onto the scene with Groningen in 2000, he moved to PSV two years later and won the Eredivisie in his first season.
Robben then joined Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea, where he lifted two Premier League titles, two League Cups, and the FA Cup.
In 2007 the Dutchman transferred to Real Madrid, winning La Liga in 2008, before joining Bayern – where he would enjoy the most success – a year later.
Robben won eight Bundesliga titles and five German Cups during his time at the Allianz Arena, before choosing to announce what would be a short-lived retirement.
Along with his club success, Robben won 96 caps for the Netherlands and, although he played in the 2010 World Cup final, he was unable to lift silverware with his country.