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Arjen Robben drops a hint on his Groningen future

Arjen Robben, Groningen
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The Dutch veteran’s fairytale return to boyhood club Groningen has been a disappointment amid long-term injury setbacks.

Arjen Robben has conceded his Groningen comeback hasn’t gone well and that his injuries may force him to retire for a second time.

The 37-year-old came out of retirement in July 2020 to help a financially struggling Groningen out in the COVID-19 pandemic. His return helped raise the club’s profile, but he hasn’t been able to do much otherwise.

Robben has made just two appearances and lasted just 44 minutes overall in the Eredivisie following a series of groin and calf injury problems. In fact, he hasn’t played since a 14-minute cameo against Utrecht in October.

“I am doing everything I can,” the former Bayern Munich winger told the club’s website. “If you don’t get the desired result in the end, you might have to accept it, but it is very difficult.

“How is it going? At the moment, those are the questions you prefer not to answer. It is not going well, it is disappointing. I can’t dress it up more than that.

“I still have problems in both calves. It has gone from one to the other. One of them got better at a certain point, then I started having problems with the other. At the moment it is very difficult. We have to see if there is a chance for things to get better again.

“It’s just a very difficult decision. I said at the start: ‘I’m going to do everything I can, I’m going to do my best, but I don’t know if it will work’.

“At the moment it seems like it is not working, but somewhere the top athlete is still inside me. Giving up is not in my dictionary.

“That is now the phase I am in. I wonder if it is still realistic to keep going, to come back to the pitch and play matches.”