Retired Robben won't rule out shock return to action

The Dutch wing maestro admits the decision to quit was a tough one and he could be tempted to return if withdrawal symptoms are too overwhelming

Retired former Netherlands winger Arjen Robben has not ruled out the possibility of resuming his playing career.

The 35-year-old called time on a 19-year period as a professional in July.

He won league titles in Germany, Holland, England and Spain and says he could consider returning to the pitch if he struggles with life after the game.

He began his career at Groningen before moving to PSV. From there he signed for Chelsea for £13 million ($16m) and spent three seasons at Stamford Bridge, winning back-to-back Premier League titles in his last two years with the Blues.

Now, having left Bayern and retired from the game, Robben suggested he could perform a U-turn. He told NPO Radio: "I always say: never say never."

"Maybe in one or two months I'll have a strange feeling that I miss the whole thing too much and will decide I have to go back.

"But of course it doesn't get any easier the longer you're retired. I do not rate the chances [of returning] very highly."

Robben, who scored the winner against Borussia Dortmund in the 2013 Champions League final, left the game on a high when he helped Bayern to a seventh successive Bundesliga title.

"It's without a doubt the hardest decision I've ever made in my career," he said of retiring.

On announcing his decision in July, Robben said: "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.

"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."

Robben would likely have no shortage of offers from China and the MLS should he reverse his decision.

There may also be openings in the Eredivisie where he remains hugely popular, not least at his former club PSV.

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