Arjen Robben Groningen 2020-21Getty

Ex-Bayern & Chelsea star Arjen Robben announces retirement at 37

Ex-Bayern Munich and Chelsea star Arjen Robben has announced his retirement from professional football at the age of 37.

Robben initially decided to hang up his boots in 2019 after his final season at Bayern but performed a U-turn a year later by returning to Groningen - the club where he initially began his career in 2000.

Although the Eredivisie outfit reportedly offered the winger the chance to sign a fresh one-year deal earlier this summer, he has opted to walk away from the game permanently after an injury-ravaged 2020-21 campaign.

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What's been said?

Robben has confirmed the news in an official statement on his social media accounts, while also posting a short message to his followers.

"Dear football friends, I have decided to stop my active football career," the caption on his latest Twitter post reads.

"A very difficult choice. I want to thank everyone for all the heartwarming support!

"Regards, Arjen."

How did Robben perform for Groningen last term?

Robben made his league debut for Groningen in a clash with PSV back in September, but had to be substituted after just 28 minutes due to a serious calf injury.

The former Netherlands international then spent the next seven months in recovery before returning in a loss to Heerenveen in April, and ultimately finished the season with just seven appearances to his name.

What legacy does Robben leave behind?

Despite the unfortunate nature of his final year in the professional ranks, Robben will be remembered as one of the best players of his generation after many years of tormenting opposition defences with his raw pace and exceptional dribbling skills.

The Dutchman broke onto the senior stage at Groningen before being snapped up by PSV in 2002, and Chelsea came calling two years later after seeing him inspire the Eindhoven-based club to an Eredivisie title.

Robben added six more trophies to his collection at Stamford Bridge, including two Premier League titles and the FA Cup, scoring 19 goals in 109 appearances for the Blues in total.

Real Madrid then snapped him up for €35 million (£30m/$41m) in 2007, and he won a league and Supercopa de Espana double in his first year with the Blancos, but was sold to Bayern after an underwhelming second season at Santiago Bernabeu.

Robben took his game to new heights at Allianz Arena, recording 144 goals over 309 matches while securing another 20 trophies, including a maiden Champions League crown and eight Bundesliga titles.

He also enjoyed an impressive international career, scoring 37 goals in 96 outings for the Netherlands and inspiring their run to the 2010 World Cup final.

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