Arjen Robben has decided to retire from football at the age of 35.

The winger left Bayern Munich at the end of the season but was mulling over several offers from clubs around Europe including PSV Eindhoven and Groningen.

In an open letter published by Ziggo Sport, Robben said, “The love for the game and the belief that you can still handle the whole world, as opposed to the reality that not everything runs as you would like 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.

“It may be a cliché, but there really is nothing more beautiful than playing for your country. Eventually I said goodbye in 2017 after 96 international matches. I have been able to play 6 final tournaments and have been the captain in my final years. All in all an unforgettable time that I will always cherish. ”

Robben continued, “I lived for 19 years for my passion and tried to get the most out of it. This only requires a certain attitude and of course costs a lot of energy, especially if it doesn’t work out the way you want and you have to fight back after a setback. Top athletes are known for their selfish attitude and I have certainly not been an exception to that.

‘That’s why I want to thank my family for the unconditional support, understanding and love. It is time for the next chapter and I look forward to spending more time with my wife and children and enjoying all the beauty that is still ahead of us. “

Robben began his career with Groningen before spells with PSV Eindhoven, Real Madrid, Chelsea and Bayern Munich. He won trophies with every club he played for including the Champions League in 2013 with Bayern Munich.

Robben made 96 appearances for Netherlands, playing in the 2010 World Cup final and also playing a key role in Oranje’s run to third place in 2014. He announced his retirement from Netherlands in 2017.

Robben will go down as one of the finest players Netherlands has ever produced.

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