Robben Joins Groningen In Shocking Retirement U-Turn
Former Dutch international Arjen Robben has announced he is making a return to football with his first professional club, FC Groningen.
Robben retired from football at the end of the 2018/2019 season after winning his eighth Bundesliga title with Bayern Munich.
The 36-year-old has flirted with the idea of making a comeback since hanging up his boots last summer and has now had a change of heart.
"I want to make my comeback as a football player, a player of FC Groningen," Robben told the Eredivisie club’s website.
"It started to itch and now it's my mission. I'm working on a comeback as a player, at FC.
"I don't know yet whether or not this will work, but I do know it will not depend on my commitment or motivation. It is my dream to wear the kit of FC Groningen again.
"It will be a tough physical challenge but I'm going for it! I am going to work hard and when everything feels right, I will join the team for the first training session of the new season.
"I hope to see everyone as soon as possible because my dream is to play in an FC Groningen jersey. We're not there yet, but one can dream!"
Groningen finished 14th in the 2019/2020 season as the Eredivisie was ended early because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Robben started his career with Groningen before further spells at PSV Eindhoven, Chelsea, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich.
In 10 years at Bayern Munich, Robben won eight Bundesliga titles as well as numerous domestic cups and he also scored the winning goal in the Bavarians’ 2-1 win over Borussia Dortmund in the 2013 UEFA Champions League final.
Robben made 96 appearances for the Dutch national team, scoring 36 goals and was an integral member of their squads that lost the 2010 FIFA World Cup final to Spain and finished in third place at the Mundial four years later in Brazil.