Lionel Messi is sidelined with a leg injury for eight weeks, in the mean time he praised a pair of Dutch players. Specifically, the Netherlands duo of Manchester United forward Robin Van Persie and Bayer Munich’s Ajren Robben.
“Robin Van Persie and Arjen Robben are two great players,” Messi told Dutch paper De Telegraaf. “Ozil is for me Germany’s best player, he is first class, very creative. Van Persie is a total footballer, a very complete forward and capable of scoring lots of goals. Robben also has class, but is more predictable. He can dribble the ball at speed and leave many players behind.”
Last month, Van Persie became Netherlands’ all-time leading scorer. The record of 40 goals was previously held by Patrick Kluivert, after a hat-trick against Hungary Van Persie had 41 goals.
“I didn’t expect to play actually. We took a small gamble,” he told SBS6. “It went better the last days with my toe. This morning we decided that I would play an hour. I didn’t expect that it would go like this.”
After that game he praised his teammates and Robben.
“In the first five minutes I lost two balls. I was not happy with that. But the team reacted well and we didn’t concede goals from it,” he added. “After the first 10 minutes we showed really good football.
“The greatest moment of the night was my second goal. The pass from Arjen [Robben] was brilliant. It was a floater. I only had to give the last touch with my head. The first one was a bit with my shoulder.
“When I was a young boy, I was good with headers. After that I let it slip a bit. It wasn’t a weapon of mine. In the last couple of years I trained more with my head. That has worked for me. You can see that now.”