Bayern Munich’s Arjen Robben has called time on a spectacular career including eight league titles in Germany alone. The left-footed right winger also helped the Netherlands to the 2010 World Cup final.
After 10 years at Bayern Munich, Arjen Robben has announced that he will quit the game.
With the Bavarian club not interested in extending his contract for another season, the Dutchman described a battle between his heart and his head when weighing up his options. In a personal statement, Robben called quitting “without a doubt the most difficult decision I have had to make in my career.”
“The love for the game and the belief that you can still take on the whole world went up against the reality that not everything always turns out exactly as you would like, and that you are no longer a 16-year-old boy who didn’t even know what an injury was,” Robben wrote.
“At the moment I am fit and healthy, and as a lover of many other sports, I would like to keep it that way for the future. So I will definitely stop, but that’s a good thing.”
Robben has scored more Bundesliga goals, 99, than any other player from the Netherlands.
With 31 in the Champions League, he is the country’s second-most prolific marksman in Europe’s premier club competition. Robben also lifted the Champions League as part of Bayern Munich’s treble-winning season in 2012-13, scoring the decisive goal in the 89th minute.
Former teammates at Bayern, including Thomas Müller and Holger Badstuber, rushed to pay tribute.
Provided he was fit (not always a guarantee), Robben has been a regular fixture on the right wing for Bayern for a decade, having joined from Real Madrid.
He’s best known for his trademark goal, receiving the ball on the right flank, cutting inside onto his stronger left foot, often leaving a defender or three in his wake, making a small amount of space for himself and then curling the ball around his marker and out of reach of the goal-keeper into the top left corner.
Robben won domestic titles in four countries: with PSV Eindhoven in his native Netherlands, twice with Chelsea in the English Premiership, once with Real Madrid in Spain, and eight times with Bayern.
In Germany, his double act with a fellow winger, Franck Ribery from France, became the stuff of legend.
The pair, nicknamed “Robbery,” both spent the vast majority of their careers in Bavaria. Ribery is also retiring from the sport this summer.
Bayern had already begun ushering in the next generation of wide attackers to replace their dynamic duo. Kingsley Coman and Serge Gnabry were often able to keep their veteran team mates out of the starting line up this season.