Arjen Robben: Netherlands' World Cup qualification 'not realistic'
Netherlands captain Arjen Robben says their hopes of qualifying for the 2018 World Cup are over following Sweden's 8-0 win against Luxembourg.
A 3-1 win against Belarus keeps Netherlands in third place and three points behind Sweden, who they face in Amsterdam on Monday. However, Sweden have a superior goal difference meaning it would take a seven-goal victory for Dick Advocaat's side to reach the playoffs.
"It caused me a lot of pain but unfortunately that is part of sport," Robben said, in quotes reported by Reuters. "We couldn't believe it was that much."
"After the result in Sweden we could not do much more than come out with our chests out. But to win 8-0 in Belarus was never going to be realistic. And 7-0 at home against Sweden, that's not going to happen either.
"Obviously we must keep believing until the last minute but I had better say what everyone is thinking. It is not realistic to think we can beat Sweden with a big score. People had best leave their calculators at home."
Robben, who has made 95 appearances for Netherlands national team, playing in a World Cup final in 2010 and finishing third in 2014, is now 33-years-old.
But when asked about his own future he said: "First Sweden and then we'll see."
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