• World Cup qualifiers

Van Persie grabs Dutch scoring record

ESPN staff
October 11, 2013
Van Persie celebrates with Patrick Kluivert on the night he overtook the assistant coach as Netherlands' all-time leading goalscorer © PA Photos

Manchester United striker Robin van Persie shrugged off fears over his fitness to score a hat-trick and become the all-time leading scorer for the Dutch national team in an emphatic 8-1 victory over Hungary in Amsterdam.

Van Persie entered the match short on goalscoring form and having had a scare over a possible broken toe while training with the national team. However, he shrugged that off in some style as Netherlands cruised to a comfortable win.

The hat-trick also moved Van Persie on to 41 goals in 80 appearances and moves him ahead of Patrick Kluivert on the all-time goalscoring chart for the Netherlands. Coincidentally, Kluivert is now part of Luis van Gaal's coaching staff with the national team and celebrated with Van Persie when the record was equalled.

Van Persie opened his account with a header on 15 minutes, then doubled his tally shortly before half-time, by which point it was 4-0 for the Dutch. He completed his hat-trick eight minutes into the second half, which puts him joint-top of the scoring list for this World Cup qualifying campaign with 11 goals in nine matches.

"I did not think I would play," Van Persie told SBS 6 after the match. "We have taken a gamble. It [the injury] was a little better in the last day or so. This morning we decided to take the plunge and play for an hour."

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