Arjen Robben steps down from Oranje, the Dutch are out of the World Cup

Arjen Robben during Tuesday night’s game. Photo: VI Images via HH

Dutch captain Arjen Robben is leaving international football after 14 years and with 96 caps to his name.

The 33-year-old made the announcement after the Netherlands 2-0 win over Sweden in Tuesday night’s World Cup qualifier which still sees Oranje eliminated from next year’s competition in Russia. Robben, who has captained the squad since 2015, scored both goals.

Although both the Netherlands and Sweden have 19 points in their Group A World Cup group, Sweden will go through to the play-offs for a place in the final on goal difference.

Robben’s decision to stand down now had been widely expected. ‘I have thought about it for a long time and I did consider stopping a while ago but I kept going,’ Robben said. ‘I am now 33, I play for one of Europe’s best clubs (Bayern Munich) and then you have to make choices. I am now going to concentrate fully on my club. This is the right time to hand over the baton.’

Robben, who comes from Groningen, made his debut for Oranje in 2003 when the team drew 1-1 against Portugal. He has taken part in three European championships and three World Cups, the last of which in 2014, Oranje came third.

With 37 goals to his name, Robben is joint fourth on the Netherlands’ all-time goal-scorer list, level with former Arsenal forward Dennis Bergkamp and 13 goals behind leader Robin van Persie (50).

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