Dutch striker Robin van Persie has admitted that he is desperate to win the World Cup on Sunday to follow in the footsteps of his hero Maradona.
The Netherlands is bidding to win its first World Cup title and after beating Uruguay 3-2 in last night’s semifinal will now face either Germany or Spain in Sunday’s finale at Johannesburg’s Soccer City.
Van Persie is delighted to be in the final and even dreams what it will feel like: “I am used to watching other teams in the final but this time I will be in it, I will be right in the middle.
“I don’t know how good it will feel to win the World Cup but I have a really big picture in my games room back home of Maradona holding the World Cup.
"It is an unbelievable picture, he is on his team mates’ shoulders holding the trophy with this huge smile on his face. If we win, I would like to make a picture like that.”
The Netherlands reached the World Cup final in 1974 and 1978, losing to West Germany and Argentina respectively.
Van Persie said he was exhausted after the semifinal but praised the strong team spirit in the Dutch camp, refusing to panic despite conceding a goal in stoppage time as they held on for the 3-2 win.
He said: “What I really like about this team is that we all talk. When they scored their second goal, no one shouted at each other, we just put our heads down and worked for each other.
“It shows mental strength to really go for it. The team spirit is unbelievable. If you put a camera in our team hotel, you would find everyone is getting on with each other and making jokes, everyone is working hard to achieve things.”