Arjen Robben lasted just 30 minutes on his Eredivisie comeback as Groningen went down 3-1 to PSV.

Robben – making his first appearance in the Dutch top flight in over 16 years – was named in Groningen's starting XI for Sunday's clash against another of his former sides.

The ex-Real Madrid and Chelsea winger announced his retirement after leaving Bayern Munich in 2019, but signed with his boyhood club for the 2020-21 season.

However, the 36-year-old was on the pitch for half-an-hour before he trudged off with what appeared to be a hamstring problem.

PSV took the lead four minutes later – Cody Gakpo putting the visitors ahead with a crisp finish.

Tomas Suslov equalised shortly after the break, yet Donyell Malen, who later missed a penalty, restored the advantage before Gakpo rounded off the win for PSV.

Arjen Robben was given the nod to break a record set by Robin van Persie as he was named in Groningen's team for their Eredivisie clash with PSV.

Former Netherlands star Robben announced his retirement from football in 2019 after leaving Bayern Munich.

However, in an attempt to help Groningen recover from the impact of COVID-19, the veteran winger confirmed he would be returning to the club where he began his career for the 2020-21 season.

On Sunday, the 36-year-old was named in Groningen's XI for their first league match of the campaign, which saw him overtake his old Oranje team-mate Van Persie in the Eredivisie record books.

Robben's Eredivisie comeback, against another of his former teams, comes after an absence of 16 years and 155 days from the Dutch league.

Van Persie spent 13 years and 267 days away from the Eredivisie between his two spells at Feyenoord, which was previously the longest time between appearances in the competition.

Groningen finished ninth in the Eredivisie last season, with the campaign cut short due to coronavirus.

Arjen Robben made his first appearance since coming out of retirement to rejoin Groningen and wants to feature in all 34 of their Eredivisie games, though he acknowledges it is unlikely.

Former Netherlands international Robben hung up his boots following the 2018-19 season but signed for his boyhood club in June to help them out amid the coronavirus pandemic.

After making himself unavailable for selection for a friendly against PEC Zwolle last week, the 36-year-old returned to the pitch for the first time in 15 months in a 1-1 draw with Almere City on Saturday.

Ex-Bayern Munich, Real Madrid and Chelsea winger Robben partnered Mohamed El Hankouri up front in a 3-5-2 formation but regularly floated wide to the right.

He displayed some neat touches before being replaced by Ramon Pascal Lundqvist just after the half-hour mark, as had been agreed pre-match.

"It was nice to play a match again. That's what you do it for," Robben told FOX Sports.

"I want to help Groningen, but not only with the sale of season tickets or shirts, also on the pitch.

"I have come a long way and I am far from there yet. But I am making good steps and this half hour was nice.

"It was quite special, but I just wanted to concentrate on doing my thing. The most important thing is to keep fit. We'll see. It is also the combination of not playing football for a year and age. I have to catch up now.

"I would prefer to play all 34 league matches, but no doubt that will not happen. I will not be there a few times."

In his 19 previous seasons in professional football, Robben did not once feature in every game of a league campaign. His best was 33 Eredivisie appearances with PSV in 2002-03.

Groningen are scheduled to start their 2020-21 league campaign on September 13 against PSV.

Arjen Robben will not make his first appearance for Groningen against PEC Zwolle on Friday after he requested not to be considered for selection.

Former Bayern Munich, Real Madrid and Chelsea star Robben came out of retirement and signed a one-year contract with his boyhood club Groningen, who he wanted to help amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The 36-year-old winger was expected to feature against Zwolle but will not take part after feeling the effects of an intense week of training.

"I want to get even fitter before I start competitions. I had a very good training week, where I was able to do things to 100 per cent," Robben told Groningen's official website.

"I'm really in a good position, but playing a match is completely different to training. After not having played football for a year, it is logical that you will experience some complaints.

"That is part of the effort you make. The body responds to training, your body has to get used to it again. That is going well, but I thought it was still insufficient to play.

"I also want to feel 100 per cent that I am ready for competitions. For that, I want to complete more group training first."

Head coach Danny Buijs said: "Arjen has pushed the boundaries in his training programme last week and touched the limit.

"The efforts he has made in the past week have led to some mild physical complaints in the form of muscle pain and stiffness. It's very understandable for a player of his age who has not played for a year, but a reason for us not to take any risks.

"We repeat what we have said before: there is a greater purpose. We want to get and keep Arjen as fit as possible for matches. If he can play a role for us in as many matches as possible next season, we will be satisfied."

Groningen are scheduled to start their 2020-21 Eredivisie campaign on September 13 against PSV, another of Robben's former clubs.

Rafael van der Vaart hopes Harry Kane remains at Tottenham, allowing the England international to continue working with a "great coach" in Jose Mourinho.

The striker returned from a hamstring injury suffered at the start of 2020 to help Spurs finish in sixth place in the Premier League, securing the north London club a spot in next season's Europa League as a result.

Kane, 27, scored five goals in his final three outings to finish the campaign with 24 in all competitions, though he had sparked speculation over his future earlier in the year when admitting he would not stay at his boyhood club "for the sake of it".

However, Van der Vaart - who spent two years with Spurs - believes Kane does not have to leave in his pursuit to win trophies.

"I really hope that he's going to stay," Van der Vaart - an ambassador for the UEFA Europa League Trophy Tour - told Stats Perform News.

"I hope he's going to stay. Spurs have a great coach.

"It's a club that want to be a championship winner, and the Champions League. They can also pay the money.

"For me, the best thing is for Harry to stay."

While Van der Vaart wants Kane to continue in familiar surroundings, he is delighted to see a famous former Netherlands team-mate return to his roots.

Former Bayern Munich star Arjen Robben announced in July his decision to come out of retirement and sign a deal with Groningen – the club where the winger started his illustrious career.

"It's great. I really love it, because I think it's important for the Dutch league," Van der Vaart said of Robben's return.

"Robben is a great guy. He is so professional. He is still so fit. I always thought, 'Why did he stop?', because football is the best thing you can do.

"He stopped at Bayern Munich, but now it's so important that he's starting again and to go back home, to his former club.

"It's going to be different. He's always played for teams when, 80 per cent of the time, they were better than the opponent, but now you go to Groningen and maybe it's 50-50. That is a different way of playing."

Van der Vaart was speaking as part of this year's Europa League Trophy Tour, which has been collecting football boots from fans for Syrian refugees based in Jordan.

Groningen used clips from 'The Last Dance' to inspire Arjen Robben to return to his boyhood club.

It was confirmed on Saturday that Robben had agreed to come out of retirement and sign for Groningen, where the former Chelsea, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich winger came through the ranks in 2000.

Robben retired last year following another Bundesliga-winning season with Bayern, with Groningen failing in a bid to sign him soon after.

Speaking at a news conference on Sunday, Groningen technical director Mark-Jan Fledderus said: "We first went to Munich to speak to him about coming to play for us, just days after he retired in May last year.

"That didn't happen. But we kept up contact and then arranged secretly with his wife to travel down and talk to him again last month.

"On May 21 I drove to Munich at the invitation of [Robben's wife] Bernadien. We surprised Arjen there. It was a great moment.

"We ordered sushi from their favourite restaurant and we made a compilation of footage from the documentary 'The Last Dance' and footage of Robben.

"We then said that the best way to help our club was to play football with us."

While Robben is unlikely to reach similar heights to those documented in the series about Michael Jordan and his final season with the Chicago Bulls in 1997-98, he is relishing the challenge of returning to Eredivisie action.

"I'm here to help the club," Robben said.

"You do that by showing the right attitude. I don't have anything to lose and I'm going into the challenge with a positive attitude and to try to make the best of it.

"I haven't set any goals, it could be over in a month or it could last two years."

On his wife's support for the decision to come out of retirement, he added: "It made the decision a lot easier knowing I had the support of my family.

"Retiring was the toughest decision of my career, maybe a little forced upon me with all the injuries.

"We decided to stay a year in Munich to enjoy the city and get used to the idea of not playing football. I didn't watch much for about six months and really enjoyed doing other things.

"But eventually the sports lover in you starts to nag and I had been training to run the Rotterdam Marathon before the coronavirus crisis."

Groningen were ninth when the Eredivisie season was brought to a halt by the coronavirus pandemic. It was later cancelled with no champion declared and no teams relegated.

The 2020-21 campaign is expected to begin in September.

Arjen Robben's retirement lasted just a single season, as the Netherlands and Bayern Munich great announced on Saturday he is to return to boyhood club Groningen for the 2020-21 campaign.

Robben, 36, brought an illustrious playing career to an end last July shortly after his 10-year spell with Bayern came to an end.

Although at the time he was linked with a potential return to the team that gave him his professional debut, Robben - who suffered with numerous injury problems throughout his career - opted to retire.

But now he looks set to return, not only to top-tier football, but at the place where it all began.

In honour of Robben's return to his first club, we identified some other high-profile players who went to finish their careers back home.

Juan Roman Riquelme - Argentinos Juniors

Perhaps more synonymous with Boca Juniors, where he made his professional debut and also spent most of his final years, Riquelme also had a strong affinity with Argentinos Juniors. He came through the club's academy in the early-to-mid 1990s, before then finishing his immense career at Estadio Diego Maradona in 2014, having also played for Barcelona, Villarreal and Argentina. Although the iconic attacking midfielder appeared close to joining Paraguay's Cerro Porteno the following year, the move never materialised.

Dirk Kuyt - Quick Boys

Kuyt briefly came out of retirement two years ago to help Quick Boys, with whom he spent 13 years as a youth. Playing in the Derde Divisie Saturday league, Kuyt was already working as assistant at the time, but made himself available for selection during a striker shortage and he made three appearances. The former Netherlands and Liverpool forward had retired the year before following a second spell with Feyenoord, where he had made his initial breakthrough in the mid-2000s, his form at the time earning a move to Anfield.

Rafael Marquez - Atlas

One of Mexico's greatest players, Marquez's longevity at such a high level was nothing short of incredible, as he accumulated 147 international caps. After breaking into the Atlas team as a teenager having come through their academy, the elegant centre-back enjoyed a sparkling career in Europe, winning 14 titles across spells with Monaco and Barcelona. Time with New York Red Bulls, Leon and Hellas Verona followed, before a final two-year stint back at the Jalisco ended in 2018. Although plagued by off-field allegations towards the end of his career, Marquez went on to become the club's sporting president, before standing down last year to focus on other areas of the sport.

Juan Pablo Angel - Atletico Nacional

Angel perhaps never quite lived up to the expectations he set during his early days as part of River Plate's so-called 'Fantastic Four' with Javier Saviola, Ariel Ortega and Pablo Aimar, having joined from Colombia's Nacional. Nevertheless, he became a fan favourite at Aston Villa in the Premier League, before spending six years in MLS with New York Red Bulls, Los Angeles Galaxy and Chivas USA. In 2013 he returned to Nacional for two seasons, having left them in 1997. He called it quits in late 2014, just a few days after losing to his former club River in the final of the Copa Sudamericana. "I am ending my career with a final between the two clubs I love the most," he said.

Henrik Larsson - Hogaborgs

While the Swedish club most may associate with Larsson is Helsingborgs, he actually made the breakthrough at a smaller side – Hogaborgs. It was here where he trained from the age of six, before eventually becoming a regular in the senior side and earning a move to Helsingborgs. A trophy-laden career followed, taking him to Feyenoord, Celtic, Barcelona and Manchester United. Although he retired in 2009, he returned to the pitch for Raa in the Swedish third tier three years later, before then finding himself back in the team at Hogaborgs in 2013, helping out due to an injury crisis despite him only previously being registered to a casual team for 'seniors'. This gave him the chance to play alongside his son, Jordan.

Carlos Tevez - Boca Juniors

The Tevez-Boca love affair has dominated most of the striker's successful and complex career. After coming through their youth ranks, the feisty forward was seen as the heir to Maradona. A brief stint in Brazil with Corinthians followed, but Europe had long since beckoned, even if West Ham was by no means the expected destination. He went on to play for Manchester United and Manchester City, increasing tension between the clubs, before then going to Juventus, but throughout this time Tevez seemed to long for a return to Boca. He went back to La Bombonera in 2015, his homecoming interrupted by a brief spell with Shanghai Shenhua in 2017 in the Chinese Super League, though even Tevez acknowledged he saw his time in China as a "holiday". "He filled Santa's sack with dollars and now he has returned to Boca" was Maradona's assessment upon 'El Apache's' return from the CSL.

Former Bayern Munich, Real Madrid and Chelsea winger Arjen Robben has come out of retirement to sign for Eredivisie side Groningen.

The 36-year-old had called time on his illustrious career after helping Bayern Munich win a Bundesliga and DFB-Pokal double in 2018-19.

However, a change of heart has led the former Netherlands international to making a sentimental return to the club where he started his career for the 2020-21 season.

Robben, who had been spotted training with Bayern recently, explained he wants to play his part in helping Groningen recover following the coronavirus pandemic.

"I was 12 years old when I started playing in FC Groningen's youth academy," he told their website.

"I made my home debut against Feyenoord when I was 16. After two years I made a transfer to PSV Eindhoven. After a wonderful adventure of 18 years, we're coming home, back to Groningen.

"We're coming home during this difficult time or crisis, one that also hit FC Groningen. It's great to see how everyone is supporting the club. I've supported the club as well and it made me think about what else I could do for our club.

"These past few weeks, I've had many conversations with club staff and, maybe more than anything, I've listened to the call of our supporters, 'Arjen, follow your heart'.

"A comeback, as an FC Groningen player, I started to play with this idea, and now I've made it my mission.

"I want to make my comeback as a football player, a player of FC Groningen.

"At this time, I'm not sure it will happen. What I am sure of is that my drive and motivation will be at 100 per cent.

"It will be a tough physical challenge but I'm going for it. I am going to work hard and when everything feels right, I will join the team for the first training of the new season."

Robben made his professional debut with Groningen in 2000 and spent two seasons there before joining PSV, where he won a league title in the 2002-03 season.

He won further championships in England, Spain and Germany with Chelsea, Madrid and Bayern respectively, in the process becoming one of the world's best wide players.

Robben also scored the winning goal in the 2013 Champions League final, as Bayern overcame Borussia Dortmund 2-1 at Wembley to complete a historic treble.

He won 96 caps for Netherlands, scoring 37 times, and was part of the Dutch team that was beaten in the 2010 World Cup final by Spain in South Africa.

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