An emotional Arjen Robben burst into tears after making a complete comeback for his youth club on Sunday.
The Dutch winger 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 where he started his career at FC Groningen recover from the coronavirus pandemic.
It wasn’t the happy comeback, however , which he expected when he sustained a groin injury in his first Eredivisie game of the season.
After three missing three league games with this injury, he scored a 14-minute cameo in a goalless draw with Utrecht.
Then he spent more than six months on the sidelines with a calf injury and only recently returned to the fitness back.
Since then he’s been limited to substitute games in the league games, with Sunday being his first start since the season’s opening week.
Arjen Robben from FC Bayern Munich after the game. [Reuters, Michael Kooren]
Despite his recent layoff, Robben showed that he clearly still has the skills necessary to play top-flight football.
He played on the right wing and supported Alessio Da Cruz in their 4-0 win against FC Emmen.
And after returning to Danny Buijs, Robben couldn’t hold back tears in his post-game interviews.
“I’ve come a long way, that’s what I wanted. I want to help this club and play football. When I can and succeed, I am very happy. It’s been a long and hard road, ”he told ESPN.
“It was tough and difficult, but I kept fighting. The reward has to come at some point. I had fun like a kid and it was important for the team today too. »
Groningen has had a successful season under Buijs this season and is currently seventh in the top Dutch league.
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