Arjen Robben retires from international football

A 2-0 win over Sweden was not enough to secure passage to Russia next summer as the Oranje finished third in their group. Robben announced after the game his time with the Netherlands was over and explained he had been thinking about calling it a day for a while.

The former Chelsea and Real Madrid winger, 33, steered his side to a 2-0 win against Sweden on Tuesday in what proved to be his final international appearance as they missed out on a play-off place. The Netherlands needed to win by seven goals to have the chance to reach next year’s World Cup in Russia.

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It is the second major tournament in a row the Netherlands have failed to qualify for, but Robben will be remembered as part of a golden generation for his country. Robben scored 37 times and provided 29 assists in 96 appearances, averaging a goal or assist every 112 minutes for his country. True to form, Robben scored the Netherlands’ second against Sweden.

The Dutch also progressed to the last four at the 2014 finals before losing to Argentina on penalties.

“Fourteen years, it’s beautiful, magnificent even,” said Robben, who made his international debut against Portugal in April 2003.

“I will always remember the 2010 World Cup and 2014. Those are my best memories. During those two competitions we formed a real team.”

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