Arjen Robben retires from Netherlands squad after failing to reach World Cup
Netherlands winger Arjen Robben announced his international retirement after scoring both goals in a victory over Sweden on Tuesday.
It was a bittersweet moment for the 33-year-old, as the Dutch needed to score five more goals to qualify for the World Cup finals next year, and instead failed to qualify for a second straight major tournament.
Robben scored his first goal from the penalty spot, though he almost messed up the Panenka finish as the ball dribbled over the line past the outstretched boot of goalkeeper Robin Olsen.
He then doubled the lead five minutes from the break with a spectacular first-time effort from the edge of the box, but Sweden held firm in the second half to move on.
"I wanted to show one more time all the things that I can do," Robben said.
As the final whistle sounded, the crowd rose to give Robben a standing ovation, chanting, "Arjen, thanks" in Dutch.
Robben, who played at the 2006, 2010 and 2014 World Cups, scored 37 goals in 96 appearances in an international career that spanned 14 years. His goal tally is tied for Dennis Bergkamp for the most in Dutch history, while he has the ninth-most caps.
However, Robben may be best remembered for the goal he didn't score, against Spain in the 2010 World Cup final, when Iker Casillas made an outstanding save to keep the Dutchman at bay. Spain won 1-0 in extra time.
Robben, who has had plenty of injury problems over the years, said he was now ready to focus on his club career with Bayern Munich
"The man of glass has lasted the longest," he added. "I've been thinking about it for a long time. I have already considered it for a while, but then I went on. I wanted to finish this qualification.
"I'm 33 years old now. I'm playing at a top club in Europe and I want to concentrate on it now. It's also a good time to hand over the baton. I still feel very good and want to be at the top as long as possible.
"I am very proud and honoured at my six tournaments. The most beautiful moments for me were the World Cups of 2010 and 2014, in which we were really a close team and a close group. But there are many beautiful moments, fourteen years is a long time."
After finishing third at the 2014 World Cup, the Dutch missed out on a second straight major tournament after also failing to qualify for Euro 2016.
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