'They should go for Batman too' – Denilson slams Botafogo's Robben approach


Former Brazil international Denilson has slammed Botafogo’s efforts to lure Arjen Robben out of retirement, suggesting that the Rio club would have more luck in trying to add a superhero to their ranks. 

Robben retired from the game at the end of the 2018-19 season after a glittering career with the likes of Bayern Munich, Real Madrid and Chelsea as well as the Netherlands national team. 

But at the end of April, the veteran winger suggested that he could be tempted back into the game at the age of 36.

“In the beginning I didn’t miss football at all,” he told the FC Bayern Podcast.

“But then there was a phase when it tickled again and I had thoughts such as: ‘Hey, maybe I would like to play a little again’.”

Those comments apparently did not fall on deaf ears in Rio de Janeiro, as Botafogo – the same club at which Robben’s former Oranje team-mate Clarence Seedorf finished his career – showed interest in signing the former winger, having swooped for Keisuke Honda at the start of 2020.

Vice-president Ricardo Rotenberg told Globo Esporte: “There is a risk because he has been out of the game for a while. But I enquired and he answered me. He was happy about our interest.

“It’s going to be difficult. Apart from the fact that he hasn’t played for a long time, he can earn four times more at another club.”

Denilson, however, believes such a move would be the height of irresponsibility, particularly during the financial meltdown in Brazilian football caused by the coronavirus pandemic. 

“Now, I’m a Botafogo player, I haven’t been paid, my wages are getting cut and someone comes along talking about signing Robben,” the ex-Betis and Sao Paulo playmaker fired to Terra. 

“For the love of God, a little more responsibility please. 

“Botafogo fans don’t need to get carried away with this situation. They are a team who have been struggling for a while now, now someone is talking about signing Robben. In the state they are in, they shouldn’t be thinking about any signings. 

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“Football is now a joke. Since they’re after Robben, why not go after Batman too?”

Botafogo finished the 2019 Brasileirao in a disappointing 15th position, finishing just seven points away from the relegation zone as they returned the worst season of all Rio de Janeiro’s four Serie A clubs. 

To make matters worse for the Fogao, city rivals Flamengo reached new heights with Brazil’s first league-Copa Libertadores double since the Pele era, eventually concluding the campaign a massive 16 points ahead of nearest challengers Santos.

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