Arjen Robben has announced his retirement from the Dutch national team after the Oranges failed to qualify for the 2018 football World Cup.
Robben scored two goals in his 96th match for the Netherlands, his 36th and 37th goal for the Dutch, against Sweden in the Amsterdam Arena on Tuesday. His goals were enough for a 2-0 victory, but not enough for a place in the World Cup qualifying play-offs because for that only a win with a margin of seven goals was sufficient, reports Xinhua news agency.
After the match, the Bayern Munich player said he would quit from the Dutch national team. “I am 33 years old now, play for a big club in Europe and have to make choices,” he said. “I thought about this for a long time.”
Robben made his debut for the Dutch team on April 30, 2003, against Portugal at the age of 19. He participated in three European Championships (2004, 2008, 2012) and three World Cups (2006, 2010, 2014). He finished second with the Dutch at the World Cup in 2010 and third in 2014.
Robben is regarded as one of the finest players in Dutch football history but will be mightily disappointed in which his international career has come to an end. Netherlands are one of the biggest and most well-renowned teams in international football but are currently undergoing a period of transition with too many inexperienced heads in their line-up. After the disappointment of missing the 2016 Euros in France, they will miss a second consecutive big tournament with their failure to qualify for Russia 2018.
– With inputs from IANS