The 36-year-old winger is rejoining FC Groningen within the Netherlands’ Eredivisie, 20 years after making his debut for the staff primarily based within the north of the nation.
He was born in Bedum, a stone’s throw from Groningen, earlier than getting married in Groningen in 2007.
Robben had known as it quits on the finish of final season following a glittering profession the place he gained league titles with Bayern Munich, Chelsea and Actual Madrid and the Champions League.
He earned 96 caps for the Netherlands, serving to the “Oranje” attain the World Cup ultimate in 2010 towards Spain. There was heartbreak for him within the finale, although, as Spain gained 1-Zero in further time after Robben missed a wonderful probability within the second half.
“After a beautiful journey of 18 years, we’re coming dwelling,” Robben stated in a video message posted on Groningen’s web site. “Again to Groningen. Coming dwelling throughout this troublesome time of disaster, one which additionally hits FC Groningen.”
When the Dutch high division was deserted in April with no title awarded or relegation as a result of coronavirus, Groningen sat ninth.
An absence of soccer has hit groups laborious.
In an effort to assist out, former Groningen defender Virgil van Dijk — who simply gained the Premier League with Liverpool — final month purchased 4 season tickets and meant to raffle them off to supporters who could not in any other case afford them.
Groningen followers started a web based public sale final week, with footwear from van Dijk and Robben additionally up for grabs.
‘Comply with your coronary heart’
“It is nice to see how everyone seems to be supporting the membership,” stated Robben. “I’ve supported the membership as effectively and it made me take into consideration what else I might do for our membership. I’ve had many conversations with the membership employees.
“And perhaps greater than something I’ve listened to the decision of our supporters: ‘Arjen, observe your coronary heart.’
“A comeback as an FC Groningen participant…I began to play with this concept and now I’ve made it my mission. I need to make my comeback as a soccer participant, a participant of FC Groningen.
“Presently I am undecided it can occur,” added Robben, who has suffered his share of accidents.
“What I’m positive of is that my drive shall be at 100%. Will probably be a tricky bodily problem however I am going for it. I will work laborious and when all the things feels proper, I’ll be a part of the staff for the primary coaching of the brand new season.
“I hope to see everybody as quickly as doable as a result of my dream is to play in an FC Groningen jersey. We’re not there but however one can dream.”
Whereas the Eredivisie shut down, Europe’s 4 main soccer leagues — the Premier League, La Liga, Bundesliga and Serie A — have all resumed behind closed doorways.
Robben’s former facet, Bayern Munich, gained its eighth straight league title earlier in June and bought to hoist the trophy on the final day of the Bundesliga season Saturday.