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Russia plan squad purge for World Cup

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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Arjen Robben no diver - Van Hooijdonk

Former Netherlands striker Pierre van Hooijdonk has revealed that he lost his temper with a Mexico supporter on a plane when the fan accused Arjen Robben of diving to win the penalty that put the Mexicans out of the World Cup.

- Carlisle: Robben playing to his strengths
- Mourinho says Robben is targeted
- Born: Sneijder steps up for Netherlands

The Bayern winger won the injury-time spot-kick that sealed a dramatic 2-1 win and put Netherlands through to the quarterfinals, and was accused of diving by angry Mexico captain Rafael Marquez.

He later told Dutch television channel NOS he had dived in that game and apologised for it -- but stressed the dive had not been for the penalty, saying: "The one at the end was a penalty -- I was fouled.

"At the same time, I have to apologise: in the first half I took a dive, and I really shouldn't do that."

Netherlands vs. Costa Rica: July 5 (ESPN and WatchESPN)

- Kuper: Dutch close in on World Cup
- Steppe: Robben's transformation
- Delaney: Costa Rica's run by the numbers
- 50-50 Challenge: Netherlands vs. Costa Rica
- Levin: Navas saves the day again and again
- McIntyre: Pinto has Ticos primed

And Van Hooijdonk, currently working as a TV pundit, said he had been quick to defend him against the fan's allegations.

"I was on a plane sitting next to a Mexican and he showed his friend a video of Robben and he was all like blah blah blah," he explained.

"I said: 'What's the problem?' He said: 'Robben dived for the penalty.' I just told him to shut the f--- up. Robben didn't dive for the penalty.

"I sometimes hate this [talk about Robben being a diver]. It annoyed me that he was talking about that moment. He didn't mention the time in the first half when he should have had two penalties when he was fouled."

Van Hooijdonk, 44, praised Robben for the performances that have made him one of the outstanding players of the World Cup so far, saying: "He is not our star player by a little bit, but by a long way. He is destroying everyone at the moment."

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