Dutch football legend, Arjen Robben announced his retirement from football on Thursday, ending an illustrious career spanning two decades.
Robben rejoined his youth club FC Groningen last year after stints that saw him win accolades at Chelsea, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich in later years.
Robben said: “I’ve decided to stop with my active football career.
“It was a difficult choice,” said the 37-year-old of his decision, which was also confirmed by FC Groningen.
The club said in a statement: “Everybody around FC Groningen hoped and wished that Robben would continue for another season, he has decided to stop after much deliberation.”
With a devastating left foot, Robben could be regarded as one of the fastest and most skillful dribblers in his prime. He 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 successes.
He scored his last league goal for Bayern in May 2019, amassing 99 goals in 201 Bundesliga matches.
Robben said: “Looking back on the past season, I have to come to the honest conclusion that the number of match minutes was disappointing.
“The football heart wants to continue, but the decision to quit is fair and realistic.”