Arjen Robben was inspired to launch a comeback with Groningen after they showed him a montage of basketball great Michael Jordan’s career.
Groningen officials met with Robben just days after he retired in May 2019.
While that initial approach failed to convince 36-year-old Robben, talks were revived last month.
The Dutch club used clips from the Last Dance documentary about Jordan, interspersed with images from Robben’s own career, in their successful pitch.
Robben, who made his senior debut for Groningen as a 16-year-old before moving on to PSV Eindhoven, Chelsea, Real Madrid and Bayern, has signed a one-year deal with his boyhood club.
“I’m here to help the club,” Robben said on Sunday.
“You do that by showing the right attitude. I don’t have anything to lose and I’m going into the challenge with a positive attitude and to try and make the best of it.
“I haven’t set any goals, it could be over in a month or it could last two years.”
Jordan also famously came out of retirement. After initially ending his baseball career at the age of the age of 30 to attempt a professional baseball career, he returned to the Chicago Bulls to win another three NBA titles.
Robben spent his time away from football on another sporting challenge. He had been training to run the Rotterdam marathon before the coronavirus pandemic forced its postponement from April to October.