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Van Persie: Pain of 2010 can spur us to World Cup glory

ESPN staff
June 18, 2014
Robin van Persie would like the chance to compete for the Golden Boot, but would take World Cup glory every time © Getty Images

Robin van Persie hopes the pain of defeat in the 2010 World Cup final can spur the Netherlands towards glory in Brazil.

The Manchester United striker was part of the Dutch team who were beaten 1-0 by Spain in the 2010 final in Johannesburg.

Though they got revenge over Vicente del Bosque's side in a dramatic 5-1 thrashing in Salvador, captain Van Persie is dreaming of another opportunity to become a World Cup winner.

He told World Cup sponsors Adidas: "I like to move forward, but of course, you look back and think 'was that my only chance to win a World Cup final'? It is the ultimate prize in the game and we came so close. It hurt a lot to lose. It was painful for Dutch people. But we did ourselves proud to get to the final, and we lost to a very, very good Spain side."

Manager Louis van Gaal promoted Van Persie by giving him the captain's armband and the 30-year-old said it does not add to the pressure on him.

He added: "It's something I relish. I'm 30 now and one of the more senior players in the squad so I just have to use my experience to help other players at these tournaments."

The Netherlands take on Australia on Wednesday with Van Persie, who admitted he scored his greatest goal against Spain, handed an opportunity to stake his claim to finish as the tournament's top scorer.

He said: "I would be very happy to be Golden Boot. Not many players get the chance to win that. I do not want it as much as winning the trophy, not even one percent as much. That is everything to us. But if I could win it, it would mean that I am doing my job well. If I do my job well it means we have got a better chance to win the cup."

Van Persie is predicting a tough game, even though the Netherlands are hot favourites against Australia, who slumped to a 3-1 defeat to Chile in their opening Group B fixture.

He said: "Australia have got nothing to lose in this tournament, they aren't expected to qualify out of the group so that makes them dangerous. They are underdogs but they are a decent side who can just have a real go at the World Cup finalists."

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