For what can now be classified as his third return to Groningen, legendary Dutch football player Arjen Robben has decided to complete his coaching internship at the club that gave him his professional debut, FC Groningen.
Robben, 39, is looking to gain his UEFA coaching license to hopefully one day man the touchline instead of the pitch. He will mostly work with the under-18s alongside former teammate Melchior Schoenmakers.
“I still call it a kind of discovery phase for myself,” Robben told FC Groningen. Although he seems well on his way to completing his coaching credentials, he is yet to fully commit to becoming a head coach in the future, testing the waters of retirement before making a decision.
The re-return of Arjen Robben to Groningen
The finest export in the history of the Northern club has always made it clear that despite all the accolades and fame, there’s no place quite like home.
After breaking through for FC Groningen’s first team in 2000, the Dutch international would play for some of the biggest clubs in the world. The likes of Chelsea, Real Madrid, and Bayern Munich have all enjoyed the services of Robben, known for his dribbling, speed, and deadly left-footed shot.
His career for the Dutch national team cannot be understated either. He represented Oranje a total of 97 times, scoring 37 goals, as he helped lead his country to a World Cup final in 2010.
He returned to Groningen in 2020 with the club marred with financial struggles. The promise of watching Robben don the iconic green-and-white jersey was enough to help the club stave off financial insecurity during the COVID-19 years.
Robben retired in 2021 following an elite 21-year career and has chosen to remain in Groningen. Residents have often spotted the player many believe to be one of the Netherlands’ greatest players of all time throughout the city, enjoying the place he once called home like he never left to begin with.
To learn more about Groningen’s historic football club, you can check out The Northern Times’ profile on FC Groningen.