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Van Persie hails his greatest goal

ESPN staff
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Dutch Delight

Robin van Persie says his diving header in the 5-1 victory against reigning world champions Spain was the greatest goal of his career.

Van Persie equalised on Friday night with a piece of individual brilliance as he threw himself acrobatically at Daley Blind's fine pass and looped a header over Spain goalkeeper Iker Casillas.

Even Moyes was impressed

  • Former Manchester United manager David Moyes was among those impressed by Robin van Persie's wonder goal and, in his Sunday Times column, claimed he worked well with the striker. "Robin's headed finish was fantastic," Moyes said. "Technically, he's brilliant: two good feet, tremendous at finishing.
  • "Our only problem with him was injuries. Contrary to what many think, I had a very good working relationship with him. We gave him the best treatment and a say in his own care. We just couldn't get him on the pitch enough."

The Manchester United striker scored again in the second half, but Van Persie it was his first goal which will be remembered.

"It is the best goal of my career," Van Persie told The Sun. "It was a brilliant goal, even I have to say that. I look at the occasion and this was one of the biggest so far in my career. It was a bit of a gamble but I spotted Casillas off his line before the cross came in.

"Just before I received the ball, I saw Casillas standing in front of his goal, so it was a header but a lobbed header - a great goal."

Van Persie scored a breathtaking left-foot volley during his time at Arsenal against Charlton seven years ago, but the Dutchman says that has now been overshadowed by his World Cup goal moment to savour.

"I remember the goal at Charlton. If I choose between the Charlton goal for Arsenal and this one, it is quite simple," he said. "I have to choose this one because it's the World Cup and against the No.1 team in the world for the last six years. They have an incredible team. So I go for this goal."

Van Persie's stunning goal against Spain struck a chord with fans of the Netherlands and has created a new viral sensation, with the Daily Mail posting Dutch fans copying the flying header in their gardens.

Robin van Persie, flying through the air after sending the ball goalwards, scored twice in the game © Getty Images
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