Arjen Robben makes Eredivisie return for Groningen… but limps off

Arjen Robben INJURED on his return after retirement U-turn as Dutch legend plays his first Eredivisie game in over 16 YEARS for Groningen – the club where it all started

  • Arjen Robben played his first Eredivisie match in over 16 years against PSV
  • Dutchman played first game since coming out of retirement to join Groningen 
  • Winger broke Robin Van Persie’s record of biggest absence between games
  • But the 36-year-old’s return proved short lived after limping off 30 minutes in 

Arjen Robben played his first Eredivisie match in over 16 years after returning for first club Groningen in their league match against PSV.

The flying winger was named as captain as he started in his familiar right-midfield position for their season opener — but his comeback proved short lived as he was hauled off after 30 minutes through injury.

The 36-year-old sensationally came out of retirement this summer to make a sentimental return to the club where he started his career after previously hanging up his boots when he left German champions Bayern Munich in 2019.

Arjen Robben played his first league game for Groningen since coming out of retirement

The winger broke Robin Van Persie’s record by playing his first Eredivisie game in over 16 years

After being named to feature from the start, Robben broke a record set by former Holland team-mate Robin Van Persie for the longest absence between two Eredivisie games — playing 16 years and 155 days since his last appearance for PSV in 2004.

It was a short-lived return for the former Real Madrid and Chelsea winger, though, after being withdrawn just half an hour into the game with an apparent muscular problem. He limped off and was replaced by replaced by Tomas Suslov.

PSV went 1-0 up five minutes later as Cody Gakpo opened the scoring before Robben’s replacement Suslov levelled things up. That equaliser proved in vain as the visitors went on to secure a 3-1 win.

Robben sensationally reversed his decision to hang up his boots to sign for his boyhood club

The 36-year-old’s return was short-lived after being taken off just 30 minutes in due to injury

The former Holland international scored his first goal since the career U-turn in a pre-season friendly this summer, slotting home with his left foot in typical style against Arminia Bielefeld.

Robben is considered one of the greatest wingers of his generation, with his dribbling skills and ability to cut inside and shoot a trademark move associated with him. 

His most successful period came whilst playing for Bayern, winning eight Bundesliga titles, five DFB-Pokal’s and scoring the winner in the Bavarian side’s 2012-13 Champions League final in a 10-year stint at the club.

Robben scored his first goal for Groningen in a pre-season friendly last week but was not able to mirror those celebrations in his first league game back as injury cut short his involvement

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