FIFA World Cup 2014: Goods news for Dutch fans as van Persie, de Guzman declared fit
Netherlands captain Robin van Persie has declared himself 100 percent fit for the World Cup as the Dutch national side arrived in Rio de Janeiro on Friday for the June 12-July 13 tournament
Rio de Janeiro (Brazil): Robin van Persie had a disappointing season with Manchester United, suffering from several injuries, but is ready to conquer Spain in the first match of the Netherlands at the World Cup June 13 in Salvador, he said here Sunday.
"I made progress in recent weeks," he said. "Although I have some minor groin problems, I would not call it an injury. I can't remember I played a match without minor niggles. I can manage that," Xinhua quoted Van Persie as saying during a press conference in Rio de Janeiro.
Dutch national football team player Robin van Persie jokes with Brazilian children at the end a training session in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on June 06, 2014, in preparation for the upcoming FIFA World Cup in Brazil. Pic/AFP
He completed the full group training at the Flamengo training ground and did not show any signs of injury. "I feel well, as you all could see," he said. "Yesterday I also only missed a small part. It is all part of the build-up."
After suffering from a knee injury Van Persie returned to action with Manchester United in the beginning of May. During the last friendly for the Netherlands against Wales (2-0) last Wednesday he withdrew at half-time with groin problems.
Netherlands captain Van Persie noticed his team is fully focussed for the first match against Spain. "Everyone talks about football," he said. "The joking is over. We are focussed."
"Spain has a good team of course, but we do as well," Van Persie added. "I am curious. I think it's good to start againt Spain, a big challenge, and after that play Australia and Chile. I hardly see any better team."
De Guzman back in training with Dutch team
Rio de Janeiro (Brazil): Dutch coach Louis van Gaal had something to smile for as mid-fielder Jonathan de Guzman joined the team's training session here after recovering from a hamstring injury.
For the first time, Van Gaal had all the 23 players in training here Sunday, reports Xinhua.
De Guzman went through the full warm-up session and also participated in the remainder of the training. The midfielder, who injured his hamstring last Monday, trained with the reserves.
Jordy Clasie was part of the possible starting line-up for the match against Spain June 13 in Salvador. Daryl Janmaat, Ron Vlaar, Stefan de Vrij, Bruno Martins Indi, Daley Blind, Wesley Sneijder, Nigel de Jong, Arjen Robben and Robin van Persie are the other likely starters against the reigning world champions.
The Dutch had some little scares at training, with star players Sneijder, Robben and Van Persie all going down once. Luckily for the Dutch they all recovered in time.