SWITZERLAND, JULY 05 – Former Bayern Munich and Netherlands winger Arjen Robben has announced his retirement from football.
The 35-year-old, a former Chelsea player, made 606 appearances and scored 210 goals in a storied 19-year playing stint, during which he won a range of titles in the Netherlands, Spain, Germany and England.
Robben mentioned back in December the possibility of retiring come the end of the season, after confirming he would leave the Bavarians when his contract expired on June 30.
“I have been thinking a lot over the past few weeks,” he told Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf.
“As everyone knows, I took the time to make an informed decision about my future after my last Bayern Munich match. And I decided to put an end to my career as a professional football player.
“It is without doubt the hardest decision I have had to make in my career. A decision where heart and mind collided.
“The love for the game and the conviction that you can still handle the whole world, as opposed to the reality that not everything runs the way you want and you are no longer the 16-year-old boy who had no idea what an injury meant.
“At the moment I am fit and healthy and as a fan of many other sports I would like to keep it that way for the future. I will therefore stop definitively, but it is good that way.”
Robben originally broke through the youth system at hometown club Groningen before joining Dutch giants PSV Eindhoven in 2002.
He helped lead them to an Eredivisie title in 2003, and the following year he was snapped up by Chelsea, winning back-to-back Premier League titles in his first two years in London under Jose Mourinho.
The Dutch winger then spent two seasons at Real Madrid, winning the La Liga title, before sealing a £22m move to Bayern Munich in 2009.
In Germany, Robben spent arguably the most significant years of his club career, helping the club to collect eight Bundesliga crowns in ten years – five of them with a domestic double, and one with a European treble in 2013.