Bayern Munich and Dutch football legend Arjen Robben completed his first marathon over the weekend. The World Cup star said the experience of running the 42.195 kilometres through the local streets during the Rotterdam Marathon 2022 was “not fun.”
Swiss runner Abdi Nageeye and Ethiopia’s Haven Hailu won the men’s and women’s titles on Sunday.
Robben, the former Chelsea and Real Madrid club star completed the full marathon alongside ex-Olympic speed skater Erben Wennemars. The 38-year-old crossed the finish line in a time of 3:13.40 seconds.
When asked about his experience running his debut marathon the former Netherlands international attacker revealed that he was just pleased to have “made it” to the end of the race.
“Not fun, it really wasn’t fun,” Robben was quoted as telling regional channel Rijnmond. “I made it, but that’s about it.
“I often went deep and had to fight often enough, but this was also a real fight.”
He also took the time to thanked the spirited supporters who gathered along the streets of Rotterdam to show their support by clapping and cheering on the runners throughout the entire race.
“That audience on the side helps you so much. Thanks to everyone for that, that got me through.
“In the beginning I was a bit preoccupied with a time, but at a certain point you throw that overboard.
“Then it’s surviving and entering my first marathon. Then you notice what something like that does to your body, but I made it.”
After a successful club and international career, Robben announced his retirement from competitive football at 37 last year. He had a stellar 21-year career and will certainly go down as one of the best players of his generation.
During his time in the English Premier League, Robben won two Premier League titles and the FA Cup, while scoring 19 goals in 109 appearances for Chelsea.
He also played for Real Madrid where he won a Spanish La Liga and Supercopa de Espana double in his first year with the Blancos.
However, the highlight of his career came at Allianz Arena, where he netted a total of 144 goals in 309 matches and picked up an impressive 20 trophies, including a Champions League crown and eight Bundesliga titles with Bayern Munich.