Van Persie: Holland over mental block

The Manchester United man is confident the squad can surpass the achievements of their predecessors and win the World Cup

Netherlands striker Robin van Persie says his side are determined to prove they have erased any World Cup “mental block” as they prepare for their semi-final against Argentina on Wednesday.

Holland had to settle for the position of runners-up in 1974, 1978 and 2010, but Van Persie has made it clear they are ready to go all the way this time around after some impressive comeback wins in their previous games this tournament.

“It makes me incredibly proud to be here, at this stage of a World Cup, wearing the captain’s armband,” Van Persie told Times of India.

“We have come from behind three times to win and that says a lot about this squad. We played two very tough knockout matches and the important thing is we won both of them.

“Next is Argentina and we are ready for this one too.

“A lot of people think Netherlands still have to get over their mental block of not having won a World Cup, but I think we are determined to change that this time in Brazil.”

The Manchester United man also took the time to reflect on Holland’s win over Spain in the group stages and his superb header during the 5-1 victory.

“Van Gaal spent weeks with us working very hard on the tactics. Everything he said was realised in the game. Due credit to all of us and the staff because we were working on this system for just a couple of weeks and if you look back and see how it came off, we can be very glad.

“If you look at the game and you see how fit we were, how well we played, it is a massive compliment to everybody.

“It was the best goal of my career. It was a brilliant goal, even I have to say that. Considering the occasion, this was one of the biggest so far in my career. It was a bit of a gamble but before I received the ball, I saw Iker Casillas standing in front of his goal, so it was a header but a lobbed header – a great goal.”

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