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Robin van Persie becomes Holland’s all-time leading goalscorer

Oct 12, 2013, 8:23 AM EDT

FBL-WC2014-NED-HUN-QUALIFIER Getty Images

Lost in amongst all the World Cup qualifying games, permutations and results on Friday, one man was a record breaker: take a bow, Robin van Persie.

The Dutchman scored a hat trick in the Netherlands’ 8-1 demolition of Hungary in Amsterdam, taking him to 41 goals for the Oranje and surpassing legendary striker Patrick Kluivert’s record in the process.

It was a proud moment for RVP.

“It was great especially as I almost didn’t play,” RVP said after suffering a toe injury in the Champions League last week. “We only made the decision to go ahead an hour before kick off. I had hardly trained this week.”

(MORE: Updated list of World Cup qualifiers – Friday evening edition)

So, van Persie’s decision to go ahead paid off with a treble catapulting him to the top of the Dutch record books. His goals game in the 15, 42nd and 52nd minute, and reminded everyone just how good Holland are heading into next summer’s World Cup. They have to be considered as one of the favorites.

But what about the man he replaced as leading scorer? Well, Kluivert has actually had a huge part in RVP’s success, as the former Barcelona and Ajax striker is an assistant coach on Louis van Gaal’s national team.

“My record had to be broken eventually,” Kluivert told Dutch television. “I’m delighted because Robin and I work together ahead of each international. It’s only a pleasure for me as an assistant coach that he scores so often. I held the record for 10 years and I’m really proud of that.”

RVP broke the record in just 80 international games, and at the age of 31 he still had three or four more seasons, at least, to extend his magnificent goalscoring record. When all’s said and done, van Persie will be remembered as one of Holland’s greatest ever players. And that’s saying something with legends Marco van Basten, Kluivert, Ruud van Nistelrooy and plenty of others seeing RVP’s name added to the upper echelons of Dutch soccer royalty for good. The strength of their current side is their for all to see and despite struggling at Euro 2012 — when Holland lost all three games and finished bottom of their group — they now look back on track after winning eight and drawing one of their nine group D matches.

Congratulations Robin van Persie, how many more can he score? Plenty, is the answer.

  1. footballer4ever - Oct 12, 2013 at 2:03 PM

    RVP is a classy and exciting footballer to watch which is easy to confirm that he belongs to be in company with such great footballers like Bergkamp, Kluiver, Van Basten etc etc etc. it’s a shame Netherlands have not yet been succesful at winning the WC with so many great footballers in their long list of marvelous players they’ve had in the past.

  2. thevikes85 - Oct 13, 2013 at 5:22 AM

    Fair play to him the only reason he is top scorer already though is because Marco got hurt and had to retire so early.I think people forget how good Van Basten actually was.

    • footballer4ever - Oct 13, 2013 at 1:19 PM

      The way I understood this article was that RVP became Netherland’s National Football team top goalscorer. In no way it states or insinuated that he’s better than any of his predecessors. Each footballer has their history and Van Baste has his footballing career well defined and respected by fans throughout the world. To be simply named among the likes of Van Basten, Patrick Kluiver, Van Nielstroy is quite an accomplishment and statement to Netherland’s football that there is an abundant pool of footballers made in that country.

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