Arjen Robben announced his retirement from professional football – for a second time – on Thursday afternoon.
The Dutch winger, who was capped 96 times for his country, first hung up his boots in 2019 after leaving Bayern Munich. However, the 37-year-old later reversed that decision in order to turn out for his boyhood club FC Groningen.
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Now, though, it appears that Robben is finally ready to walk away from the game for good. Revealing his decision on Twitter, Robben called it “a difficult choice”, but thanked his followers for their heartwarming support.
His final season at Groningen was not the fairytale ending that the former Chelsea and Real Madrid man’s legendary career deserved. Struggling with injuries, he managed just six appearances last term.
At his peak, though, Robben was borderline unplayable on occasion. Quite simply, he had a wand of a left foot – and, boy, did he like to make full use of it.
So adept was Robben at cutting in from the right on to his favoured left foot that it became his signature move. Over the course of his career, he won no less than 11 major league championships. In addition, Robben scored the winning goal for Bayern in the 2013 Champions League final.
Truthfully, had it not been for injuries, ‘the flying Dutchman’ could surely have bagged more medals. In full flight (and at full fitness), Robben really was a sight to behold. A compilation uploaded to YouTube by UEFA of five of the best Bayern goals scored in his trademark fashion shows just how clinical he was.
The video opens up with Robben taking advantage of some lax Arsenal defending to cut in and unleash an unstoppable drive into the top corner of David Ospina’s goal in a 2017 Champions League last-16 tie.
A year earlier at the same stage of the competition, Robben pulled off another gem when he ripped through Juventus.
Receiving a pass from Robert Lewandowski, Robben took possession on the right-hand side of the penalty area. He then shifted the ball on to his left foot and dribbled the ball across the box, before firing past Gianluigi Buffon.
A fine solo goal against Manchester United is up next. Robben bears down menacingly on the defence, sending Patrice Evra scurrying backwards. Choosing not to take the French left-back on, Robben transfers the ball to his favoured side and leaves Nemanja Vidic for dead as he finds the bottom corner with his strike.
More brilliance follows with a sensational finish against Barcelona in the 2013 Champions League semi-finals. Following a switch in play, Robben cuts inside and perfectly curls a shot into the top corner, leaving the Nou Camp stunned.
The video concludes with an absolute screamer from Robben against Fiorentina in 2010. Cutting in to smash a sumptuous left drive into the net from 30 yards, Robben’s wonder strike helped his side advance to the quarter-finals of that season’s Champions League competition.
On his day, as this video shows, Robben was undoubtedly a magician. Everyone here at GIVEMESPORT wishes him all the best in retirement.