Former Chelsea and Netherlands winger Arjen Robben has announced his retirement.
The 35-year-old had already confirmed last season would be his final one with Bayern Munich after helping the German side to win another Bundesliga title
Robben started his career at Dutch club Groningen before going on to join PSV Eindhoven, where he won the Eredivisie title.The winger then signed for Chelsea during the summer of 2004, going on to secure successive Premier League titles, as well as the FA Cup and two League Cup trophies.
‘I have decided to put an end to my career as a professional football player,’ said Robben, who played for Holland in the 2010 World Cup final defeat by Spain.
‘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.’
Looking to the future, Robben added: ‘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.’
His Stamford Bridge start was hampered by a metatarsal injury suffered in pre-season but after making his debut in October 2004, he played a major part in the club's first successful championship challenge for 50 years, playing wide of a front three in an effective wing partnership with Damien Duff, even though further injury kept him out of action in the latter part of the campaign.
He scored seven goals in 18 league games and was named the league’s Player of the Month for November 2004 but was pipped to the PFA Young Player of the Year award by Manchester United's Wayne Rooney.
Robben collected his second Premier League winner's medal for the 2005/06 season, contributing six goals in the league campaign although two red cards and more injury reduced him to 28 appearances.
In his third and final season with the club he made a major impact as a half-time substitute in both our cup final victories, crossing for Didier Drogba's winner against Arsenal in the Carling Cup final and making a contribution at Wembley against Manchester United despite playing well short of peak condition.
Speculation linking him with a move to Spain with Real Madrid was persistent, and eventually the club agreed to let him leave, acquiring a reported £24.4 million, double what we had paid. In total he started 74 games for Chelsea with a further 32 sub appearances, scoring 19 goals.
Robben joined Bayern Munich in 2009 and was a major player for the Germans as they reached the 2010 Champions League final, losing to Jose Mourinho’s Inter, and was beaten again, this time by the Blues in Munich in 2012 – a game in which he saw his extra-time penalty saved by his good friend Petr Cech.
Robben eventually got his hands on the Champions League trophy a year later, when he netted the winning goal at Wembley a minute from time, defeating Bundesliga rivals Borussia Dortmund.
He won 96 caps for his country, scoring 37 times.