Berlin (AFP) – Arjen Robben says he may retire in June after confirming he will quit Bayern Munich when his contract with the defending Bundesliga champions expires.
Robben, who turns 35 in January, confirmed in Monday’s edition of magazine Kicker that he will quit the Bavarian giants at the end of the season: “that’s a fact”.
“Of course it’s a big step, which you don’t just make in one day.
“I thought about it a lot and it feels good that it’s now out, also for the fans and the club.
“It was the right point in time.”
Having missed the last two games with a thigh injury, Robben could make his return when Bayern face Ajax away in the Champions League on Wednesday. Both teams are through to the last 16 and Bayern need only a point in Amsterdam to win Group E.
Robben also missed Saturday’s 3-0 league win at home to Nuremberg which left Bayern third in the table and nine points behind Bundesliga leaders Borussia Dortmund.
Bayern’s senior bosses are planning a squad clear-out for next season and Robben says now is the right time to go, despite two stunning goals in the 5-1 thrashing of Benfica a fortnight ago.
“The game against Benfica was a nice confirmation that I can play at the highest level,” he added.
“On the other side, the club wants to change the face of the team and I want to prepare my future.
“I am simply happy and grateful that there is clarity for both parties.”
However, Robben says he currently has no plans past the end of the season.
“That’s not entirely clear, perhaps I will stop playing – it’s about waiting and seeing what possibilities there are,” he said.
“If offers come in, I’ll really consider them 100 percent and if it’s something nice, I’ll play on, but if no ideal offers come, then that could be it.
“I have three children and they also must be happy, so it’s not just about offers from China or places in the desert.
“The family plays a very important role in every decision of mine.”
After spells at Chelsea and Real Madrid, Robben joined Bayern in 2009 and the highlight of nearly a decade with the Bavarian giants was his winning goal in the 2013 Champions League final at Wembley to seal a 2-1 victory over Borussia Dortmund.
The fleet-footed, injury-prone Dutch veteran, named Bundesliga player of the year after his first season in Germany in 2009/10, has won 19 titles so far with Bayern and collected his seventh German league title last May.