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Surprises abound in post-World Cup year

FC United about an hour ago
Read
Jun 13, 2014

Robin van Persie: Dream come true

The ESPN FC panel weigh in on Netherlands' 5-1 thrashing of Spain in what was a deserved revenge of their 2010 World Cup final defeat.

Robin van Persie said Friday's result was "a dream come true" as he scored twice in the Netherlands' 5-1 thumping of defending World champions Spain in their Group B opener.

After Spain took the lead, Van Persie equalised with a difficult looping header that he said "must be the goal of my career," then promptly ran to celebrate with manager Louis van Gaal, who is set to join him at Manchester United next season.

Van Persie gave his boss the lion's share of the credit for the result.

"This is incredible and inexplicable," Van Persie told Voetbal International. "For us, this is a dream come true and we have to enjoy it -- everyone in Holland must, too.

"This is because of the coach. He has prepared us great and he predicted how the game would go. It's incredible, because it was exactly as he and the staff predicted for us."

Robin Van Persie brought the Dutch back level and then added another goal in the second half.

Van Gaal cut an animated figure as the goals poured in but was eager to focus minds in his post-match press conference.

"I did not expect that it would go this way, it could have been 6-1 or even more, and we had a very happy feeling," he said.

"This is a nice start, but we have nothing. If we do not win our next game against Australia we have made no progress, but now we are obviously in a good position."

And the Dutch manager had nothing but nice things to say about his striker's remarkable equliser.

"The pass from Daley Blind for Van Persie was fantastic, the finish was great. There was so much feeling. If you can make a goal in that way it's great ... really fantastic.

"It was great that [Van Persie] came to me. That is a sign of appreciation and that appreciation is mutual."

Arjen Robben also recorded a brace in the highly anticipated game, which he cited as "why you play football."

"I think nobody has dreamed about a result like this, so it was a great game," Robben said. "We are here to show ourselves. I think we have a very good character in the team, very good team spirit. That's why we won the game today. We are physical, very good, we are strong, we are fit.

"We played against maybe the best football-playing team [for] ball possession. But we kept together and we got our chances and in the second half we killed it off and it was a deserved win.

"Everybody was happy, but at the same time everybody said 'Hey, we continue. It's not done yet, we are still in the group phase and there are still a few games to play.' That's what I enjoyed the most -- not on the pitch, but now in the dressing room."

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