9 July 2014 06:27
Netherlands assistant coach Patrick Kluivert said he believes winger Arjen Robben has been the best player at the 2014 World Cup.
Kluivert’s Dutch outfit are preparing for a FIFA World Cup semi-final with Argentina at the Arena Corinthians in Sao Paulo.
While the former Netherlands international said the current senior team were a combined force, Robben stood out as the best of the lot – as he prepares for a battle with three-time Ballon d’Or winner Lionel Messi.
“We individually may not be the best players in the world, but are a great collective,” Kluivert said, as reported by telegraaf.nl.
“Though we have, of course, about Arjen Robben, who in my eyes currently is the best player of the World Cup.
“We should also not dwell on the good results, because we have – except rave reviews – nothing.”
Kluivert said the team’s heartbreak after losing the 2010 final to Spain in South Africa is a motivating factor, but he did not excuse the squad’s youth for not being hungry to win the world crown.
“The young guys need to realise that the World Cup gold is up for grabs, there should be (a drive) for all players during a major tournament,” Kluivert said.
“You live in a tunnel and after the loss (in 2010)… this blow I know you do not really want to experience.”
Kluivert said he is eyeing off beginning his managerial career after the Netherlands’ campaign in Brazil is over, and hailed senior coach Louis van Gaal – bound for Manchester United after the World Cup – as an inspiration.
“It’s fantastic that I can watch. Two years in the kitchen of Louis van Gaal, of the last seven weeks, every day I have spent with one goal,” Kluivert said.
“(I want to leave Brazil) with the World Cup in our pocket, because that is currently the only thing that counts. That goes for the players, but also for the staff.
“My contribution, this is of course the perfect complement to the Professional Football Coach course.”