Arjen Robben confirmed he was substituted at half-time of Netherlands’ 3-1 win over Luxembourg with an injury scare, but stressed the problem is not a significant one.
The winger scored with a cool finish after 36 minutes – one year to the day of his last Netherlands appearance – but did not return to the pitch after the interval due to tweaking his hamstring.
Robben says he made a sensible decision not to risk further damage and is hopeful the problem will not keep him out of Bayern’s crucial match away to rivals Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga next Saturday.
The 32-year-old told NOS after the match: “The word ‘injury’ is probably a little bit too heavy and I hope it is not bad.
“But of course it was not nice that I had to leave the field. I had to defend a counterattack and attempted a sprint. I felt a brief cramp at the back of my thigh.
“When we arrived in the dressing room after the first half I had a discussion with the team doctor and we decided not to start the second half.
“I used my head and did not get caught up the emotion. You want to keep playing, but it is wiser not to do this. Of course, you always feel responsibility, even towards my club Bayern Munich and therefore this was the best decision.”
The match was level at one apiece at the break, with two second-half goals from substitute Memphis Depay required to see Netherlands to victory and avoid falling victim to a shock result.
Robben said: “We just gave a goal away at the end of the first half and you cannot say that we played well.
“I do not want to be negative but it is the reality. We want to reach the World Cup, but we will have to play a higher level.”
Netherlands are second in Group A, three points adrift of leaders France and ahead of Sweden on goal difference as they look to reach Russia having failed to qualify for Euro 2016.
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