AMSTERDAM: Arjen Robben lasted just 29 minutes of his comeback match at FC Groningen on Sunday before being forced off by injury in a disappointing start to his return at his boyhood club.
Robben has had a career beset by injuries and the latest looked to be a pulled hamstring, suffered as he sprinted to chase a potential pass against PSV Eindhoven on the opening weekend of the new Dutch league season.
The 36-year-old retired last year at Bayern Munich but in June announced a sensational comeback at the club where he began his professional career as a teenager.
He said he had an itch to the return to the game. His return to Groningen came as a lift to the provincial club, hoping for a positive impact from the veteran, who won 12 league titles in a glittering career at PSV Eindhoven, Chelsea, Real Madrid and the German giants, and 96 caps for his country.
But the much-anticipated comeback ended in a familiar sight with Robben feeling a suspected muscle pull and then quickly signalling to the bench that he needed to be replaced. He limped off, ripping off his shirt in frustration.