AMSTERDAM: Former Netherlands, Bayern Munich and Chelsea star Arjen Robben announced his retirement from professional football at the age of 37.
Robben had decided to hang his boots in 2019 after his final season with Bayern Munich. But the star footballer took a U-turn a year later by returning to play for Dutch club Groningen, where he began his career in 2000.
But Robben made just seven appearances for the club in the 2020-21 season due to calf injury. Through a social media post on Thursday, Robben has now decided to call time on his career permanently.
"Dear football friends, I have decided to stop my active football career. A very difficult choice. I want to thank everyone for all the heart-warming support!" wrote Robben.
In his peak days, Robben was one of Europe's most feared forwards. He ends his career with an impressive trophy haul. Robben won eight Bundesliga titles and five German Cups in a decade with Bayern Munich before choosing to announce retirement, albeit for a short period of time.
Before coming to Munich, Robben had spent time with Chelsea for three years. He lifted two Premier League titles, two League Cups and the FA Cup, scoring 19 goals in 109 appearances. After Chelsea, he spent two years at Real Madrid, where he was a member of the 2008 La Liga and Spanish Super Cup winning team.
Apart from his success at the club level, Robben won 96 caps for the Netherlands and scored 37 goals. He featured in the Netherlands' run to the 2010 FIFA World Cup final, only to finish second best to eventual champions Spain. IANS