Robin van Persie may not be on everyone’s radar following his current injury, but the Netherlands’ striker has definitely the quality to score many goals for his country.
In our new Golden Boot Contenders feature Soccer Laduma looks at players to score their country to World Cup success in Brazil. Every Tuesday, we will introduce one potential top scorer to win the Golden Boot at the tournament.
Van Persie made his Netherlands debut as a 23-year-old shortly before the 2006 World Cup, but didn’t really shine at major tournaments so far.
He entered the 2010 World Cup in Brazil following a difficult season at Arsenal, after picking up an ankle injury in an international friendly in October, which kept him side-lined until April.
He finished the Premier League with nine goals in 16 games – a number which he would better in all following seasons – and many believed he returned in time to play a great World Cup in South Africa.
However, despite his country reaching the final of the tournament and Van Persie being a regular starter, he disappointingly only scored one goal.
Following the 2010 World Cup, Van Persie started to prove his worth for Arsenal, scoring 48 goals in the following two Premier League campaigns.
At the EURO 2012, however, another disappointing tournament followed for the striker, as his one goal wasn’t enough to prevent his country’s drop out in the group stages.
Van Persie then moved to Manchester United and helped his side with 26 goals to win the Premier League title – the first league title in his career.
He kick-started the current season by scoring both of Manchester United’s goals in their 2-0 win against Wigan in the Community shield. But after scoring seven goals in the 11 opening games of the season, the 30-year-old picked up two consecutive injuries which kept him out until January 2014.
He then scored seven goals in the seven games upon his return, amongst them a hat-trick which helped his side overcome a two-goal defeat against Olympiakos in the Champions League last-16. Unfortunately van Persie picked up another knee-injury in the game, which has kept him side-lined since.
He enters the World Cup in Brazil as the top-scorer in the European World Cup qualification, having scored 11 goals in nine games for his country, and is a main pillar in Louis Van Gaal’s revamped squad.
The Netherlands eased through their qualification group with nine wins and one draw and are amongst the teams who are expected to do well in Brazil. If Van Persie can regain his best form, he should be able to help his country past group B with Spain, Chile and Australia.
He recently became the Netherlands’ top scorer of all time (41 goals) and his country will hope he can add more goals to his tally in order for a successful World Cup campaign.
Do you believe Robin van Persie can be one of the Golden Boot Contenders in Brazil? Have your say in the comment section below.