The Netherlands have named a preliminary squad for two upcoming friendlies against Wales and Germany in their first matches since seeing all hope of qualifying for Euro 2016 go up in flames. Named in that squad is Bayern Munich's Arjen Robben. The question must be asked: Is it time for Arjen Robben to retire from the Netherlands?
The case for why Robben should retire from international football is a relatively simple one. At the age of 31, Robben's game still relies heavily on his ability to beat an opponent with speed. If (and it's a big "if" going by their performance in Euro 2016 qualifying) the Netherlands manages to qualify for World Cup 2018 in Russia, Robben will be halfway through his 34th year with 2.5 more European seasons on his legs.
In Robben's last appearance in an Oranje uniform, he came off injured and missed roughly two months for Bayern. As he continues to age and with his style of play, a small niggling injury can quickly become a bigger problem that would see the Dutchman on the sidelines for extended periods.
Last summer, after missing World Cup 2014 through injury, Franck Ribery decided that his time playing international football was at an end. Perhaps, it's time for Robben to follow his Robbery partner's example of when to bow out.
The Netherlands will play in Wales on November 13 and in Germany on November 17.
Netherlands Preliminary Roster
Goalkeepers: Jasper Cillessen (Ajax), Terence Kongolo (Feyenoord), Karim Rekik (Olympique Marseille), Maarten Stekelenburg (Southampton), Kenny Tete (Ajax), Virgil van Dijk (Southampton), Joel Veltman (Ajax), Marko Vejinovic (Feyenoord), Kenneth Vermeer (Feyenoord), Jeroen Zoet (PSV)
Defenders: Daley Blind (Manchester United), Jeffrey Bruma (PSV), Jordy Clasie (Southampton),Daryl Janmaat (Newcastle United), Jairo Riedewald (Ajax)
Midfielders: Vurnon Anita (Newcastle United), Eljero Elia (Feyenoord), Anwar El Ghazi ( Ajax), Davy Klaassen (Ajax), Quincy Promes (Spartak Moscow), Wesley Sneijder (Galatasaray), Georginio Wijnaldum (Newcastle United)