Bayern Munich legend Arjen Robben suffered an unfortunate groin injury only 40 minutes into his first match for FC Groningen this season, after returning to them this summer. The Dutchman wanted to finish his playing career the same place it started, but he’s faced an uphill battle trying to get back fit and onto the pitch before he has to hang up his boots for good.
In a recent interview with Fox Sports (via SportBild), the Dutch winger provided a fitness update and also said he realizes his career is all but over. Still, though, he has high hopes of getting back out on the pitch and he’s ready to fight to make that happen. “I just hope I can get back on the pitch. I will give everything for it, “ he said in the interview.
For the better part of the past three months, Robben has been working on his rehabilitation process and he now realizes that the most difficult steps in the process are just around the corner. “The last steps are always the hardest. I had a lot of setbacks. I knew that it would be a big task and a challenge,” he said. He even mentioned that he’s thought about calling it quits even before he’s back fit and ready to take to the pitch again; “To be honest, the energy has been gone in the past few weeks. Of course it went through my head to stop. This athlete is somewhere in me. A little voice in my head is preventing me from stopping.”
Despite the potential to make a return to action for Groningen, Robben is well aware that his true career is already behind him. At 36 years of age, he’s not the same winger that’s notorious for flying down the right channel and cutting in to his left foot. “My career is over. This year is already a bonus and if it works in 2021, it would be great,” he explained.
While his playing career may be close to its end, his legacy at Bayern Munich and the Dutch National Team certainly isn’t. He’s one of the world’s greatest ever wingers and regardless of a return for Groningen or not, he’ll be remembered as such. Hopefully for his sake, he’s able to make a fairytale return and be able to end on the pitch where it all began at Groningen.