Football

Arjen Robben.

When people thought Arjen Robben clocked fastest running speed in football history

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For the second time in two decades, the Netherlands national team will be absent from the upcoming World Cup.

Dick Advocaat's side came up short in qualifying for next year's tournament in Russia, finishing third in Group A behind France and Sweden.

Failure to qualify for the 2018 World Cup also saw Arjen Robben retire from international football, 14 years on from making his debut aged 19.

Robben called time on his international career as the Netherlands' fourth-highest goalscorer and ninth most capped player.

Speaking after his country's final group game with Sweden, against whom he scored twice, Robben said: "The man of glass has lasted the longest.

"I've been thinking about it (international retirement) for a long time. I have already considered it for a while, but then I went on. I wanted to finish this qualification.

"I'm 33 years old now. I'm playing at a top club in Europe and I want to concentrate on it now. It's also a good time to hand over the baton.

"I still feel very good and want to be at the top as long as possible. I am very proud and honoured at my six tournaments."

Robben will go down as one of the greatest players to ever represent the Netherlands, although he'll be gutted to have never won a major international trophy.

Netherlands v Sweden - FIFA 2018 World Cup Qualifier

The closest the winger came was at the 2010 World Cup, where the Netherlands lost 1-0 in the final to Spain.

Robben and co. exacted revenge on Spain four years later, though, by smashing five past them in the 2014 World Cup group stages.

Two goals came courtesy of Robben, who everyone also thought recorded the fastest speed by a footballer ever during the game.

In the 80th minute, Wesley Sneijder played a long ball over the top for Robben to chase, with Sergio Ramos 10-15 metres ahead of him.

But Robben quickly caught Ramos and beat him to the ball before scoring a sublime solo goal. Check it out below.

ROBBEN BECOMES 'NEW' WORLD'S FASTEST PLAYER

Reports claimed at the time that Robben clocked 37 km/h during his run, which is absolutely insane.

However, much to the winger's dismay, it was later confirmed he was running at 31 km/h, not 37 km/h, meaning he was no longer the fastest player ever.

"I'd already thought [37km/h] was excessive," Robben said when he found out. "I am fast, but that would have made me almost as fast as Usain Bolt!"

Still, he managed to humiliate Ramos, who is certainly no slouch.

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Topics:
Arjen Robben
Bundesliga
Bayern Munich
Robert Lewandowski
Robin Van Persie
Football
Xabi Alonso

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