Netherlands captain Robin van Persie is a doubt for tomorrow’s semi-final against Argentina due to a stomach problem, manager Louis van Gaal has confirmed.
Van Persie missed training on Tuesday, and Van Gaal has openly admitted that he does not know whether the Manchester United striker will return in time to face their Lionel Messi-led opponents.
‘Van Persie had some intestinal problems so it was best he didn’t train,’ he told reporters.
‘I don’t know [if he will be fit]. Tomorrow I will have to take these decisions. We have more than a day to go and he is a very important player to us.’
Van Persie is coming off an injury-hit season with the Red Devils, in which he was restricted to just 21 Premier League appearances, as the club finished in a hugely disappointing seventh place.
It was a year in stark contrast to his 2012-13 campaign, when he finished as the league’s top scorer with 26 goals, leading United to their 20th title in Sir Alex Ferguson’s final season in charge.
His World Cup preparations complicated by a sprain knee suffered towards the end of last season, the 30-year-old got off to an impressive start in Brazil, bagging a brace in the side’s 5-1 opening rout of Spain, while also netting in the ensuing 3-2 win over Australia, but has since gone 225 minutes without scoring.
Part of the Dutch squad which fell to Spain at the final hurdle in 2010, Van Persie will be looking to go one better this time around, but his team’s chances of making the final will be noticeably hampered if he fails to make the lineup, despite Klaas-Jan Huntelaar being a worthy replacement.