Arjen Robben has announced his international retirement moments after leading his Netherlands team to a 2-0 win against Sweden in the FIFA World Cup Russia 2018 Qualifiers on Tuesday evening.
The 33 year old star winger scored both goals in the win against Sweden, but the Dutch failed to qualify for the FIFA World Cup after a poor qualifying campaign.
“The man of glass has lasted the longest,” Robben said in a post-match interview with Dutch TV channel NOS. “I’ve been thinking about retiring for a long time, but I wanted to finish this qualification campaign.”
“I’m 33 years old now, I’m playing at a top club in Europe and I want to concentrate on that. It’s a good time to hand over the baton.”
“I am very proud and honoured to have represented my country at six tournaments,” Robben added. “The most beautiful moments for me were the World Cups in 2010 and 2014, when we had a very tight-knit team. But there have been many beautiful moments. Fourteen years is a long time!”
“Arjen is still one of the best players in the world,” said Netherlands coach Dick Advocaat. “And he is still going to do a great job for his club. The national team will really miss him because he is such a quality player.”
Robben made his national team debut back in 2003, and went on to earn 96 caps, score 37 goals and chip in 29 assists.
(Image courtesy: Koninklijke Nederlandse Voetbal Bond)
A Farewell Video by the Koninklijke Nederlandse Voetbal Bond
Aftermovie – Netherlands v Sweden
Arjen Robben announcing his retirement on NOS