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.
“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.
“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.