Netherlands stalwart Dirk Kuyt has insisted he wouldn’t swap Arjen Robben for any other player at the World Cup, following his teammate’s hot start to the tournament.
Robben scored three times and notched an assist over the side’s opening three games against Spain, Australia and Chile, as the Netherlands claimed maximum points in Group B to set up a tie against Mexico in the last 16.
The standout player of the summer thus far, his performances have arguably been amongst the best of his career and Kuyt hopes the 30-year-old can keep his fine form going all the way to the final.
‘I think Arjen has done a great job so far and at the moment I wouldn’t change him for any other player in the tournament,’ he said.
‘We are very happy with him. He’s scored great goals and gave a great assist for Memphis [Depay], so hopefully he can give these types of performances until the end of the tournament.’
Playing in his third consecutive World Cup, along with Kuyt, Robben is one of seven survivors from the squad which fell to Spain in the final four years ago, the side exacting revenge this time around with a 5-1 opening win to set the tone for their rivals’ dramatic early exit.
With 78 caps and 26 goals, the veteran has been a regular in the Dutch side for over a decade now, while starring in the Premier League with Chelsea for three seasons before his departure to Real Madrid in 2007.
Despite constantly battling injuries throughout his career, the Bayern Munich winger has continued to demonstrate during the past few Bundesliga campaigns that he remains one of Europe’s most feared attackers, winning three titles in five years with the club, including a historic treble in 2013.
Pivotal to manager Louis van Gaal’s plans over the coming weeks, Robben is clearly excelling in the side’s newly-introduced 5-3-2 system, as the Netherlands look like arguably the tournament’s most formidable outfit entering the knockout stages in Brazil.