Arjen Robben is officially making his comeback.
The legendary Dutchman left Bayern Munich at the end of last season and announced his retirement from the professional game.
But the former Chelsea and Real Madrid star is hoping to be back in a matter of months. Robben is returning to FC Groningen, with the club announcing the signing of the 36-year-old for the 2020/21 season.
“I was 12 when I started playing in FC Groningen’s youth academy,” Robben said in a video posted on Groningen’s Twitter account. “I made my home debut against Feyenoord when I was 16. After two years I made a transfer to PSV Eindhoven. After a wonderful adventure of 18 years, we’re coming home.
“We’re coming home during this time of crisis. It’s great to see how everyone is supporting the club. It made me think what else I could do for our club. I’ve listened to the call of our supporters: ‘Arjen, follow your heart’: a comeback as an FC Groningen player. I started to play with this idea and now I’ve made it my mission. I want to make my comeback as a football player, a player of FC Groningen.”
It really is wonderful to see one of the greatest players of the modern era return, however, there will be the lingering fear that injuries will curtail Robben's comeback.
The final few seasons of his Bayern career were heavily interrupted by a series of knocks, with Robben acknowledging the issues himself after announcing his retirement.
“My love for the game and the conviction that I can still take on the world was up against the reality that things haven’t always gone the way I would have hoped and that I’m no longer a youngster of 16 who has no idea what injures can do to you," The Dutchman said.
Let's hope he can remain fully fit when the Eredivisie returns, because we all know what a special player he is.
In his 10 seasons with Bayern, Robben scored 144 goals in 309 appearances, regularly showcasing his trademark 'cutting in from the right and whipping it into the far corner' move.
The Dutchman also earned 96 senior caps for his country, excelling at both the 2010 and 2014 World Cups.
- Lionel Messi's genius free-kick assist for Luis Suarez
- Video of Arjen Robben scoring the same goal over and over again
- Remembering Arjen Robben's stunning volley vs Man Utd