Arjen Robben ended his career at Bayern in summer 2019 – everyone thought. Now he is back in professional football at his home club Groningen. About one eaten by ambition.
When talking about an attraction in football, this expression always seems a bit strange. According to Duden, an attraction is “something that has great appeal, attracts keen interest.”
The impact from right to inside has long been known colloquially as a “seal move”, naming all of his dream goals for the record champions would go beyond the scope: whether that 2: 3 in Manchester 2010 , his sensational connection goal against Florence a few weeks earlier , his dream solo in the extension of the DFB Cup semi-final against Schalke – all goals should be remembered by die-hard Bayern fans.
Not to mention the gate that forever catapulted him into the hearts of Munich. The winning 2-1 in the 2013 Champions League final against Borussia Dortmund ,
The new beginning
All of these gates were several years ago. And in the summer of last year, football should be over. A goal in his last Bundesliga game against Eintracht Frankfurt actually marked the perfect end. “I notice that it is really difficult for me. The end is coming closer. Quitting is an option,” said Robben at the time, just to announce the end of his career a few days later.
But now he wants to know it again. The 36-year-old started team training at his home club FC Groningen last Monday – and still has high goals.
“During this time, the club can use any help to overcome the corona crisis. I have also participated in various campaigns and thought about what else I could do for our FC,” said Robben in a press release at the end of June.
“I still don’t know if it will work. But what I do know is that my commitment and motivation will not be lacking. It is now my dream to play in the FC Groningen jersey again.”
Lack of motivation – it’s also the last thing the 96-time Dutch international could be accused of. This is also confirmed by Andreas Ottl , his former teammate from Munich:
“His ambition, attention to detail and enthusiasm for football is exceptional. That is why the comeback is not completely surprising. He wants to give something back to his old club. That absolutely speaks for him and his character,” says Ottl, who particularly loves Robben remind.
“Arjen is a very down-to-earth family man. He doesn’t live the glamour factor that is always interpreted by stars. A thank you, a request – you always hear that from him.”
The tireless ambition that Ottl names is what made the old man from the small Dutch community Bedum so successful – and started a meteoric career.
Seal transfer triggered “wow effect”
From Groningen via Eindhoven, Chelsea and Real Madrid to Munich, the man, who already looked 20 and 40, experienced various ups and downs – especially with the record champions.
“When Arjen came, he was a star buyer. In Munich he matured to become a world star,” recalls Ottl of the change in summer 2009. “It all happened relatively quickly. He came shortly before the transfer deadline but had in his young career seen and experienced a lot. His change has triggered a “wow effect” for us. ”
But three years later, when he missed both in the crucial championship game against Dortmund and a few weeks later in the final against Chelsea , he was the bogeyman. The fans whistled him in preparation, Robben thought about saying goodbye in the meantime – but soon rejected the thought. Robben is not someone who runs away. Nobody who resigned. Because he knows that setbacks are usually followed by success.
A Champions League title, a Spanish, two English and eight German championships, as well as several cup victories, are all part of Robben’s book, which was advised by his father Hans during his career.
“The fact that a force works in Arjen that always drives him forward can no longer be overlooked when he was eight or nine years old,” said Hans once about his son, who shaped an entire decade in Munich.
Robben is said to have stood several times before leaving Munich – there were always plenty of offers. But as with his long-standing counterpart on the left, Franck Ribery, it was always the “family atmosphere” that motivated Robben to stay in Munich.