6 July 2014 16:35
Patrick Kluivert has labelled Lionel Messi “special”, but feels Argentina will be wary of Arjen Robben in their FIFA World Cup semi-final.
Messi has been outstanding in Argentina’s run to the last four in Brazil, scoring four goals and leading by example for Alejandro Sabella’s side.
The Barcelona star will be aiming to inspire his country again when they take on the Netherlands in Wednesday’s last-four clash in Sao Paulo, as they attempt to be crowned world champions for the first time since 1986.
And while Netherlands assistant coach Kluivert acknowledges the threat posed by Messi, he also believes Argentina will have their work cut out keeping influential Dutch winger Robben quiet.
“The quality of Argentina is awesome. It will be very hard for us and for them,” he is quoted as saying by AS.
“Argentina have major individual players. Both teams have players who can decide a game.
“Stopping Lionel Messi? How do Argentina stop Arjen Robben? Messi is a special player.”
The Netherlands needed a penalty shootout to beat Costa Rica at the quarter-final stage on Saturday, but former striker Kluivert is not concerned that fatigue will be a factor against Argentina.
He added: “There will be tiredness, sure, but for Argentina too. We have time to get our fitness.
“We won’t be fatigued because we have four days to rest and four days is a lot.”