Deportes

Robben retires from international football after Netherlands miss World Cup

Robben retires from international football after Netherlands miss World Cup

He exited the pitch to many signs of gratitude, a standing ovation and with his name echoing throughout Amsterdam Arena. He led the nation to a second-place finish in the '10 World Cup in South Africa and a third-place result in Brazil three years ago.

The Netherlands missed out on a play-off spot, despite securing a 2-0 win over Sweden in their final 2018 World Cup qualifier.

Following a disappointing European qualifying campaign, the Netherlands needed a win with a margin of seven goals to pass Sweden and finish second in Group A. After a handball by Victor Lindelof the Dutch got an early penalty, which was converted by Arjen Robben with an unconvincing chip.

Ironically, the fans in Amsterdam rose to their feet as the 90th minute approached on Tuesday. He darted past defenders, drifted in from the right flank and shot with his left foot, fell theatrically under a Swedish tackle and pleaded with the referee for a free kick.

The decision to quit international football was made after the match.

The 33-year-old Robben helped Netherlands reach the 2010 World Cup final where they lost 1-0 to Spain after extra-time.

After something of a lull, Robben again went close three minutes from time, but Olsen was equal to his effort at the near post and Sweden ultimately did enough to ensure their place in the play-offs. This will be the first World Cup without the Netherlands since 2002. Even though the Netherlands would fail to qualify, there was a sense that Tuesday's match would be Robben's last. Babel raced towards the Sweden box before pulling the ball back for Robben to thunder an unstoppable strike into the net for his second of the first half.