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Jun 18, 2014

Van Persie: 2010 pain can spur us on

Netherlands coach Louis van Gaal insists his side aren't taking Australia lightly ahead of their clash on Wednesday.

Robin van Persie hopes the agony of defeat in the 2010 World Cup final can motivate Netherlands to glory in Brazil.

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The Oranje captain was part of the team beaten 1-0 by Spain in Johannesburg -- but after his spectacular header sparked a stunning 5-1 revenge win over the defending champions, he is dreaming of another chance to lift the trophy.

Manchester United striker Van Persie 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."

Coach Louis van Gaal promoted Van Persie to captain, but the player said that did not add to the pressure on him, explaining: "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."

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Netherlands take on Australia on Wednesday with Van Persie, who scored twice against Spain, eyeing more goals.

He said: "I would be very happy to be Golden Boot winner -- not many players get the chance to win that.

"But 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. And 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 Netherlands are hot favourites against the Socceroos.

He explained: "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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