It is a curious thing as to what a footballer does post-retirement. On one hand, some continue to abide by the fitness rules they followed as players, to remain close to football such as Zinedine Zidane or Xabi Alonso who were youth team trainers before heading to coaching. On the other end of the spectrum, there are the likes of Wesley Sneijder or Ronaldo Fenomeno who kick back and rest up following retirement and stay away from the rigorous diets and restrictions they had to abide by as players.
But it looks like Sneijder’s Dutch teammate and ex-Bayern star Arjen Robben has not sided with him as he has been spotted sporting an athletic physique since retirement.
Having played for the likes of Bayern Munich, Real Madrid and Chelsea during his 21-year-old trophy-laden career, Robben retired from football only last year. Following the end of his contract with Bayern, Robben returned to Dutch side FC Groningen where he began his career.
Now a year ahead, the ex-winger has completed a 42.195 kilometres marathon through the streets of Rotterdam over the weekend. From the images released from the event, the Dutchman cast a muscular figure on the circuit going up against fellow competitors at the age of 38.
According to reports, Robben finished the race alongside former Olympic speed-skater Erben Wennemars under a respectable time of 3 hours, 13 minutes and 40 seconds. Having completed his first crack at a marathon, the Dutchman was very candid in recounting his experience as he mentioned that it was not an enjoyable outing for him.
“Not fun, it really wasn’t fun. 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…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,” revealed Robben while speaking to Dutch broadcasters Rijnmond.
While Robben has impressed many football fans by continuing to pursue a physically intensive lifestyle but going by his comments, it remains to be seen if the Dutchman will take up a career in running in the near future.