Arjen Robben bursts into tears after emotional comeback for boyhood club
FOOTBALL By Mirror | May 10th 2021
An emotional Arjen Robben burst into tears after making a full comeback to playing for his boyhood club on Sunday.
The Dutch winger had retired in 2019 after winning his eighth Bundesliga title with Bayern Munich, at the age of 35.
But he returned to football last summer to help the club he started his career at, FC Groningen, recover from the coronavirus pandemic.
It has not been the joyous comeback he was expecting though, suffering a groin injury in their first Eredivisie game of the season.
After three missing three league games with that injury, he made a 14-minute cameo in a goalless draw with Utrecht.
But he then spent more than six months on the sidelines with a calf injury, only recently returning to fitness.
He has been restricted to substitute appearances in the league games since then, with Sunday being his first start since the opening week of the season.
Despite his recent lengthy lay-off, Robben showed that clearly still possesses the skills needed for top-flight football.
Playing on the right wing, he provided the assists for both of Alessio Da Cruz’s goals in a 4-0 thrashing of FC Emmen.
And after his starring return to Danny Buijs’ side, Robben could not hold back the tears in his post-match interviews.
“I have come a long way, this is what I wanted. I want to help this club and I want to play football. If I can and succeed, then I am very happy. It has been a long and hard road,” he told ESPN.
“It was tough and difficult but I kept fighting. The reward has to come sometime. I had fun, like a child, and it was also important to the team today.”
Robben first joined Groningen in 1996, before departing for PSV Eindhoven in 2002.
Groningen are enjoying a successful season under Buijs this term and currently sit seventh in the Dutch top-flight.
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