Dutch superstar retires from football after two decades

Arjen Robben has announced his second retirement from football at the age of 37.

The Dutch legend had comes out of retirement at the beginning of last season, signing for Eredivisie side Groningen – his first club.

However, he suffered an injury during the first match of his comeback in September, and after making one more appearance, was sidelined for nearly six months.

He made another return in April and played in four of the last six games of the season, completing 90 minutes against Utrecht in what turned out to be his final career appearance.

Announcing his retirement for a second time on Twitter, he wrote: “Dear football friends, I have decided to stop my active football career. A very difficult choice.

“I want to thank everyone for all the heartwarming support!”

Robben’s career timeline

After two seasons spent at Groningen, Robben moved to Eredivisie rivals PSV Eindhoven in 2002.

Two years later, he signed for Chelsea, becoming the third new addition to the squad of new manager Jose Mourinho’s reign.

Despite missing the early stages of the season through injury, he netted seven league goals in 18 appearances to help Chelsea to their first top flight title since 1955.

He was again an influential member of the side that retained their league title in the following campaign, but then suffered injuries in the first half of 2007 before leaving the Blues to join Real Madrid in the summer.

Robben spent two seasons at Real, netting a total of 13 goals in 65 games in all competitions, before joining Bayern Munich in 2011.

It is at Bayern where the Dutch international played some of his finest football. He scored 144 goals for the club in a 10-year spell, and won the Champions League for the first time in 2013. Robben was also named in the UEFA Team of the Year in 2011 and 2014.

On the international stage, he was a key part of the Netherlands side that were runners-up in the 2010 World Cup, and finished in third place four years later.

His decision to retire in 2019 pulled the curtain down on an incredible career for the time being, until his comeback to football last summer.

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