We stopped believing it would happen. Disturbed by injuries, the return of Arjen Robben (37) to Groningen was more like a Stations of the Cross than a resurrection. But, by dint of hard work, the winger got back on his feet and gradually recovered before regaining his place. Sunday, against Emmen (32nd day of Eredivisie), he started for the first time since September 13. And he did not pass up this opportunity to shine.
The former friend of Franck Ribery at Bayern Munich gave two assists to Alessio da Cruz (a free kick intelligently played in the 52nd and a deep love of openness in the 62nd), actively participating in the final victory of his own (4-0). A performance which also earned him the man of the match trophy. What to drop a small tear at the end of the meeting at the microphone ofESPN.
A rare emotion
“It was just a long way. You expect more, you expect more. Then it’s hard and difficult. And I continued to fight. The reward had to finally come at some point. And then there is a game like the one today (Sunday), I can play and have fun for 75 minutes as a kid and I can still be important for the team with two assists. So, yes, I’m happy ”, he blurted out, very moved, saying he was ready to stay one more year in his heart club if his physique allows it.
His trainer Danny Buijs paid him a heartfelt tribute to the press after the meeting. “It’s great for him and it’s great for the team. He’s 37, hasn’t played for almost a year, and then he’s plagued with injuries. Maybe he picked up too quickly sometimes. And then, after a first failure, you hear the critics again, “crystal man” … When you see how hard he works, that’s his reward. His emotion? He is like a little child. It says a lot about his passion and the way he lives football. It’s great to experience this up close ”, he confided.
A surprise for the Euro?
This return to form, at this time of the season, even poses a surprising question in the Netherlands on Monday: should we select the left-hander for the Euro? “When I started this summer, the European Championship was one of my wildest dreams. First, we have to be realistic and see how things will turn out in the weeks to come. Then we will see further “, he answered himself, ready to answer present in case of summons. “You have to be very careful because I see the headlines coming again. I am not saying: “I want to come”. But, if he called me, I would say yes ”.
Opinions on the question differ. “It would be a sensation. He is an example for many. But I think it will be quite difficult ”, launched Wesley Sneijder on the set of RTL. “If Robben is in good shape, of course you only take him with you.” But then he will want to play too. I don’t think it’s possible ”, analyzes Dirk Kuyt for his part. John Heitinga is more definitive. “I don’t find that very realistic”, he judged. Just asking the question is already a victory for Arjen Robben.