• World Cup

Robben: Costa Rica rugby tackled me

ESPN staff
July 6, 2014
Arjen Robben goes flying after being challenged by Junior Diaz and Michael Umana © Getty Images

Arjen Robben accused Costa Rica of deliberately fouling him during the Netherlands' World Cup quarter-final win and criticised their tactics, saying "football won on the night".

Robben's conduct became a subject for debate after he admitted diving during the Netherlands' last-16 victory against Mexico but also made headlines during the tournament for the right reasons after scoring three goals and assisting another as he played a key role for Louis van Gaal's side.

"I'm tired of all the insults. Today I was rugby-tackled throughout the game," Robben said, in quotes reported by Marca from Dutch TV

He added: "We deserved the win. They only had one chance in 117 minutes. Football won on the night."

Robben attributed the Netherlands' unexpected success to their morale and talked up their chances of going one better than 2010, when they finished runners-up to Spain in South Africa.

He said: "We're still in it. Our team spirit is what makes this a great team. If we continue like this, we can go far."

Meanwhile, Louis van Gaal's assistant Patrick Kluivert responded to a question about how the Netherlands will attempt to harness Lionel Messi by warning that Argentina will have to be equally wary of Robben.

He said: "Argentina have some great individual talents in their team. Both teams have their share of game-changers and match-winners.

"How are we going to stop Messi? Well, how are they going to stop Robben? Messi is a special talent."

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