Sunday, June 24, 2018

Van der Vaart backs Robben to deliver

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 9 Jun 2012


Rafael van der Vaart is ‘totally convinced’ international team-mate Arjen Robben will be back to his best for the Netherlands in Euro 2012.

Bayern Munich winger Robben suffered a double dose of heartbreak this season, losing both the German Cup final and the Champions League final, during which he missed a penalty in extra-time.

He also missed from the spot in a crucial Bundesliga showdown with eventual champions Borussia Dortmund.

But Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Van der Vaart believes Robben will produce his best form for his country in the UEFA showcase tournament in Poland and Ukraine.

“Robben was very hurt when he arrived to the Netherlands camp, but we are all cheering him up and he will be back to being the same player he always is,” Van der Vaart told

“I have spoken to him and he still doesn’t understand how the (Champions League) final got away from Bayern. They played better but when you get to penalties anything can happen. It’s a big risk. The Germans should have sewn up victory before that.

“I am totally convinced that the blow for Robben in the final will not affect his play with the Netherlands at the Euros.”

Van der Vaart is unsure whether he will feature in coach Bert van Marwijk’s starting line-up.

The 29-year-old scored two goals in the last two Netherlands friendlies but both strikes came after his introduction as a substitute.

“I always want to play and I don’t like staying on the bench,” he said.

“But I understand and accept that to be a starter today with a team like the Netherlands isn’t at all easy.

“Here there are hardly any guaranteed starters or reserves and that’s a nice problem to have for the coach.

“For me, the aim is to be a starter in this Euro and that’s why I am working so hard in our training sessions and friendlies ahead of the tournament.

“I don’t know the coach’s intentions in the official games, but he is insisting that nobody is guaranteed a place in the starting line-up. That’s a good way of motivating us in our work.”

The Netherlands begin their Euro 2012 campaign with a match against Group B opponents Denmark on Saturday, followed by games against Portugal and Germany.


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