Arjen Robben has closed the curtain on a glittering 19-year playing career after leaving Bayern Munich this summer.
Following a trophy-laden decade at Bayern, Robben became a free agent last weekend once his contract had finally expired.
The mercurial Dutch winger has been one of football’s biggest names in the 21st century and had also played for PSV Eindhoven, Real Madrid and Chelsea during his stunning career.
Even at 35 years of age, clubs from Japan in FC Tokyo were sending Robben lucrative offers to join them for next season.
However, in light of a troubling thigh injury that forced him out of action for five months in his final season at Bayern, Robben decided to hang up his boots instead of pursuing a new club this summer.
“I have been thinking a lot over the past few weeks,” read a statement from Robben via Goal.
“As everyone knows, I took the time to make an informed decision about my future after my last Bayern Munich match. And I decided to put an end to my career as a professional football player.
“It is, without doubt, the hardest decision I have had to make in my career. A decision where heart and mind collided.
“The love for the game and the conviction that you can still handle the whole world, as opposed to the reality that not everything runs the way you want and you are no longer the 16-year-old boy who had no idea what an injury meant.
“At the moment I am fit and healthy and as a fan of many other sports, I would like to keep it that way for the future. I will, therefore, stop definitively, but it is good that way.”
Robben managed an impressive 209 goals and 158 assists in 602 club career matches for Groningen, PSV, Chelsea, Real Madrid and Bayern.
The former Netherlands international won everything at Bayern in eight Bundesliga titles, five DFL-Supercups, five DFB-Pokals, a Champions League and the UEFA Super Cup.
Robben also had the rare privilege of winning league titles in four different nations in Holland, England, Spain and Germany.