Netherlands forward Arjen Robben has blasted his critics, following his admission that he dived during the side’s 2-1 last 16 win over Mexico.
One of the standout players of the World Cup thus far, Robben openly confessed to diving in the first-half of the Mexico match, compounding accusations which have dogged the Dutchman throughout his career.
Appearing to go down easily to earn a stoppage-penalty in the same match, which Klaas-Jan Huntelaar converted for the win, his antics also led Costa Rica manager Jorge Luis Pinto to plead to FIFA and the referee to keep an eye on the 30-year-old ahead of their quarter-final clash.
Robben however has now moved to hit back at the criticism, admitting Saturday’s shootout win felt like vindication for all the bad press he has received since.
‘In recent days there has been a lot of talk about diving and actually I'm tired of this b*******,’ he told NOS.
‘I get kicked from all sides but luckily I am still fit,’ he added. ‘I felt that I could make the difference but didn't get the ball enough. I don't want to blow my own trumpet, but I felt I was so good.
‘[In the dressing room] it was a party, we were so good with the penalties too, compliments to Tim Krul. It shows we do it all together.’
With the Netherland set to face Argentina on Wednesday for a place in the final, manager Louis van Gaal will be hoping his star man can use the recent criticsm to fuel his fine run of form for at least two more games, as the Oranje look to go one better than four years ago in South Africa.
The Bayern Munich ace infamously missed a golden opportunity to open the scoring in that 1-0 extra-time final defeat to Spain, but helping his side to their first World Cup title on this occasion would certainly exorcise any lingering demons over that moment.