Sometimes things come full circle even for the rarest of elite players. Arjen Robben, now 33 and anticipating his ninth season with Bayern Munich, recently spoke to kicker about his reflections on life after his career.
More and more I am a little excited about what is coming after my career. [. . .] I’m thinking about it more often, and that’s a sign. The end is drawing nigh: that’s the reality.
Robben and Bayern Munich agreed to a one-year extension in January that will keep the Dutchman in red though next season, ending in 2018. The question of whether Robben tacks on another year with the Rekordmeister or not seems to be wide open.
Earlier in the year, Robben dismissed the thought of transferring to the Chinese Super League for a final payday. “I have always made [transfer] decisions for sporting reasons. I’ll do that until the end. Money will not play any part,” he told kicker at the time..
Now we may have a clearer glimpse of what Robben intends to do with himself when the time comes to hang up his boots:
First of all I want to look at the situation totally relaxed for half a year, spend time away from soccer, not do anything. What’s certain is that I’ll return to Holland, to Groningen. I still have close ties to my home club. Maybe I’ll find something there.
Born in Bedum just outside of Groningen, Robben made his professional debut with FC Groningen in 1999. He was their player of the year in 2000, in his first season with the first team. He transferred to PSV Eindhoven in 2002, the first of several stops before he found a second home in Munich.
If Robben returns after over fifteen years - potentially as a coach? - Groningen would surely welcome him with open arms.