Robben retires: ‘Heart says yes, my body says no’

Arjen Robben, Bayern Munich, Clubs, Netherlands, Story
Karl-Heinz Rummenigge pays tribute to Arjen Robben, Franck Ribery and Rafinha as the three Bayern Munich stars prepare to leave the club. Via Bayern
Following a fairy tale ending to their Bayern Munich careers, ESPN FC’s Steve Nicol chimes on the departing Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery.

Arjen Robben has announced his retirement from professional football after playing a key role in Bayern Munich’s golden decade.

“I will definitely retire. And it’s good as it is,” Robben, 35, said in a statement released to German media on Thursday. “It’s the hardest decision I had to make in my career.

Robben, whose contract at Bayern Munich expired on June 30, added: “My heart says yes, my body says no.”

Injury prone throughout major parts of his enormously successful career, Robben missed most of his Bundesliga farewell tour in 2019 as he once again battled with several injuries.

“It is a decision in which heart and mind collide. The reality is that things don’t work the way they did when you were 16,” Robben said.

In his last match at the Allianz Arena, Robben was on target for Bayern as the German giants sealed a seventh consecutive Bundesliga title, before going on to win another domestic double the following week.

Arjen Robben bids farewell to football at age 35.

After stints with FC Groningen, PSV Eindhoven, Chelsea and Real Madrid, Robben joined Bayern Munich in 2009 and went on to become one of the club’s greats in the decade to follow.

Featuring in 201 Bundesliga games, he scored 99 goals and set up a further 62.

The 2010 World Cup finalist appeared in a total of 110 Champions League matches for Eindhoven, Real Madrid, Chelsea and Bayern.

He crowned his time at the club by scoring the late winner in the 2013 all-German Champions League final against Borussia Dortmund, which Bayern won 2-1.

During his career, Robben won eight German Bundesliga titles, five German cups, two Premier League trophies, one FA Cup, one La Liga title, two Dutch cups and one Eredivisie title on top of the Champions League and Club World Cup in 2013.

He participated in three World Cups and three European championships.

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