`Dutch Messi` Robben ready for Argentina

Sao Paulo: Former Netherlands coach Bert van Marwijk is betting on Arjen Robben to outshine Lionel Messi as the Netherlands prepare to take on Argentina for a place in the World Cup final on wednesday.

The diving controversies which have shrouded Robben`s campaign in Brazil cannot mask the fact that the Bayern Munich star has been Holland`s most consistently effective attacker.

And that leaves van Marwijk confident that the Dutch are holding the trump card heading into the battle with Messi and Argentina in Sao Paulo.

"Argentina have got Messi, we`ve got Robben. And quite frankly, I think the better player is Arjen," said van Marwijk, Holland`s coach at the last World Cup in South Africa four years ago.

"When I see how Robben is playing in this tournament, I have to admit I`m a little bit jealous. There`s a big difference to 2010," van Marwijk told Dutch broadcaster NOS television.

"Four years ago, Arjen was injured just before the start of the tournament in a friendly against Hungary.

"He was carrying the injury for the whole tournament and was never really 100 percent. But this year he`s been unstoppable."

Van Marwijk believes a fully fit and firing Robben might just have made the difference between winning and losing the 2010 final against Spain.

Robben remains haunted by his failure to convert a glorious chance in the final, when he was denied by Iker Casillas after being put clean through on the Spanish goal in normal time.

"It is part of sport, just a moment, a snapshot," said Robben. "But it will be part of me and part of my career for all of my life.

Sao Paulo, Former Netherlands coach Bert van Marwijk is betting on Arjen Robben to outshine Lionel Messi as the Netherlands prepare to take on Argentina for a place in the World Cup final tomorrow.

The diving controversies which have shrouded Robben`s campaign in Brazil cannot mask the fact that the Bayern Munich star has been Holland`s most consistently effective attacker.

And that leaves van Marwijk confident that the Dutch are holding the trump card heading into the battle with Messi and Argentina in Sao Paulo.

"Argentina have got Messi, we`ve got Robben. And quite frankly, I think the better player is Arjen," said van Marwijk, Holland`s coach at the last World Cup in South Africa four years ago.

"When I see how Robben is playing in this tournament, I have to admit I`m a little bit jealous. There`s a big difference to 2010," van Marwijk told Dutch broadcaster NOS television.

"Four years ago, Arjen was injured just before the start of the tournament in a friendly against Hungary.

"He was carrying the injury for the whole tournament and was never really 100 percent. But this year he`s been unstoppable."

Van Marwijk believes a fully fit and firing Robben might just have made the difference between winning and losing the 2010 final against Spain.

Robben remains haunted by his failure to convert a glorious chance in the final, when he was denied by Iker Casillas after being put clean through on the Spanish goal in normal time.

"It is part of sport, just a moment, a snapshot," said Robben. "But it will be part of me and part of my career for all of my life.

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