Dutch playmaker Wesley Sneijder insisted on Wednesday that there has been no World Cup fall-out with striker Robin van Persie, who was unhappy at being substituted in the 2-1 second round victory over Slovakia.
Van Persie had been accused of angrily suggesting to coach Bert van Marwijk that Sneijder and not him should have been replaced.
The Arsenal striker, who has struggled throughout the finals, scoring just one goal, and Inter Milan player Sneijder were summoned for talks with van Marwijk on the flight back to their base camp following Monday’s match.
“Robin assured me that he had not said those words and I have no reason to doubt him,” said 26-year-old Sneijder, who went on to score the match-winning second goal, minutes after van Persie had been replaced.
“I don’t have a problem with him and I never have done. He was disappointed to come off, that one can understand and it really isn’t a serious matter.”
Sneijder, who has scored twice as the Netherlands attempt to win the trophy for the first time, insisted that unlike previous Dutch squads there was a sense of unity as they confront five-time champions Brazil in Port Elizabeth on Friday.
“We will be united as never before against Brazil,” he said.
“We have already drawn a line under the Last 16 match and we will be 120-percent raring to go against Brazil.”
The winners of that quarter-final will play the victors of Friday’s other last eight clash between two-time winners Uruguay – appearing in their first quarter-final in 40 years – and Africa’s sole remaining representatives Ghana.