Robben experiences ‘fun half an hour’ when he returns: ‘Nice to be on the field again’

Arjen Robben has made his comeback for FC Groningen in a practice game with Almere City. The 36-year old Robben played, with captain, only the first thirty minutes of the match. That was as discussed with him beforehand.

Robben was happy with his first playing minutes afterwards. “It was a lot of fun,” he said. “The head’s off. It was nice to stand on the field again and make minutes. But somewhere between twenty and thirty minutes was the maximum possible.”

During the previous practice matches in Groningen, Robben was still forced to watch from the sidelines, because the former international was not yet fit enough. The past few weeks he worked intensively on his condition.

“That’s better,” Robben said after he came back. “It’s a matter of getting used to. My general fitness is there, for my age I am very fit in terms of condition and strength. Yet I have to keep a close eye on my body, the tendons and muscles.”

When Robben had to leave the pitch, Almere were ahead 1-0 thanks to a goal from Faris Hammouti. Ramon Pascal Lundqvist, Robben’s replacement on the right flank, headed into the equaliser just before half time. That was also the final score at Almere.

End of June Robben announced his return to FC Groningen, the club where he made his debut in the Dutch premier league.