ARJEN ROBBEN has announced his retirement from football at the age of 35.
The former Chelsea and Bayern Munich star has said the decision to hang up his boots was “the most difficult” he had ever made in his 19-year career.
Robben left Bayern after his contract expired last month, bringing down the curtain on his 10-year spell at Allianz Arena.
He was believed to be considering a return to Holland – and even linked with a shock move to Leicester.
Robben said: “I have decided to put an end to my career as a professional football player.
“It is without doubt the most difficult decision I have had to make in my career.
“A decision in which ‘heart’ and ‘mind’ collided.
“The love for the game gives you the conviction that you can still handle the whole world, as opposed to the reality that not everything works 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 want to keep it that way for the future.
“So I will definitely stop, but it is good that way.”
Robben began his glorious career at Groningen before signing for PSV in 2002 – winning the Eredivisie title in his first season in Eindhoven.
Having moved to Chelsea two years later, the forward won two Premier League crowns and triumphed in the FA Cup before joining Real Madrid in 2007.
Following the arrival of Cristiano Ronaldo, Robben left for Bayern in 2009 with one La Liga title under his belt – only to earn his legendary status in the Bundesliga.
The Holland icon, known for cutting inside on his left foot, collected eight league titles and five German Cup trophies in ten years at Allianz Arena.
And he famously helped Bayern claim the Champions League title in 2013, scoring 13 goals and adding 13 assists that season.
The winger was capped 96 times by Holland, reaching the 2010 World Cup final and finishing third four years later