Arjen Robben retires: Former Chelsea, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich star announces end to career

The 36-year-old has hung up his boots after a 19-year trophy-laden career

Tom Kershaw
Thursday 04 July 2019 17:21 BST
Arjen Robben celebrates with the Champions League trophy in 2013
Arjen Robben celebrates with the Champions League trophy in 2013 (Getty)

Arjen Robben has confirmed his retirement from professional football after being released by Bayern Munich at the end of last season.

The former Chelsea, Real Madrid and Bayern winger made 606 appearances and scored 210 goals in a storied 19-year playing career, but the 36-year-old struggled to find a new top-tier club before making the announcement on Thursday.

“I have decided to put an end to my career as a professional football player,” Robben said in a statement.

“It is without doubt the most difficult decision I have had to make in my career. A decision in which “heart” and “mind” collided.

“The love for the game gives you the conviction that you can still handle the whole world, as opposed to the reality that not everything works 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 want to keep it that way for the future. So I will definitely stop, but it is good that way.”

The Dutch winger began his career at Groningen before moving to PSV. From there he signed for Chelsea for £13.1m and spent three seasons in west London, winning back-to-back Premier League titles in his last two years.

Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery celebrate with the trophy at the end of their final season with Bayern (Reuters)

In August 2007, he completed a £24m move to Real Madrid, winning La Liga in his first season with the Spanish giants, before joining Bayern Munich in 2009.

Robben spent a decade at Bayern, winning eight Bundesliga titles as well as the Champions League in 2013.

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