Dutch soccer superstar Rob announced his retirement from his youth club Groningen on Thursday, ending his two decades of a brilliant career. Robben, considered one of the best wingers of his generation, after winning accolades at Chelsea, Real Madrid, and Bayern Munich, rejoined Groningen Football Club last year. “I decided to stop my active football career,” Robben said in a tweet. “It is a difficult choice,” said the 37-year-old, whose decision was also confirmed by Groningen Football Club.
“Everybody around FC Groningen hoped and wished that Robben would continue for another season, he has decided to stop after much deliberation,” the club said in a statement.
One of the fastest and most skillful dribblers in his prime, with a devastating left foot, Robben scored more than 200 goals at club level and 37 for the Netherlands, the last against Sweden in Amsterdam in October 2017.
After his debut at FC Groningen during the 2000-01 season, Robben transferred to PSV in 2002-03.
His first overseas transfer came two years later when he went to Chelsea and played an important role in helping the west London club win the English Premier League in 2005-06.
Robben moved to Real Madrid in 2007 for a reported fee of around 35 million euros, before joining Bayern in 2009, where he played a major role in the southern German club’s success.
The bald Dutchman scored his last league goal for Bayern in May 2019, scoring 99 goals in 201 Bundesliga games.
A month later, Robben said he would retire, but last year he was lured back to Groningen to play.
While playing for the Netherlands, Robben played an important role in pushing the Dutch team to the final of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa and to third place at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
But the winger had been plagued throughout his career by injury.
“Looking back on the past season, I have to come to the honest conclusion that the number of match minutes was disappointing,” Robben said Thursday.
“The football heart wants to continue…, but the decision to quit is fair and realistic,” Robben said.