English mid-fielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who has been one of the brightest stars for Arsenal this season, Friday asserted that he was inspired by former French goal-poacher Thierry Henry while he was practicing alongside him during his stint with the club in 2012.
Despite being a tournament labelled as the return of attack-minded football after the caution shown in South Africa four years ago, Brazil 2014 has been a platform for the world`s best goalkeepers to shine.
Footballers have been accused of being solely focused on their sport but here AFP Sport highlights five of the Dutch squad, who face Argentina in their World Cup semi-final on Wednesday, who have time for other matters whether it be hobbies or charity work.
Substitute goalkeeper Tim Krul turned out to be the unlikely hero at the Arena Fonte Nova here Saturday as the Netherlands beat Costa Rica 4-3 on penalties to set up a mouthwatering FIFA World Cup semifinal clash against Argentina Wednesday.
A stoppage time penalty from Klaas-Jan Huntelaar gave the Netherlands a dramatic 2-1 victory over Mexico in the second round of the World Cup on Sunday minutes after the Mexicans had seemed certain to reach the quarter-finals. With two minutes to play Mexico were leading 1-0 but Wesley Sneijder pulled the Dutch level with a fierce drive, seemingly forcing the match into extra time.
Missing talismanic striker Robin van Persie, the Netherlands looked a pale imitation of the side that stuck five goals past Spain in their Group B opener, but Monday`s 2-0 win over Chile proved they can grind out victories without him.
It was a disastrous start for World Champions Spain in the FIFA World Cup 2014, where they were thrashed by Netherlands who won 5-1. In an exclusive chat with Aditi Tyagi of Zee Media, former Indian skipper Baichung Bhutia analysed the game.
Spain`s goalkeeper Iker Casillas believes the Netherlands will be largely relying on their attacking triangle of Arjen Robben, Wesley Sneijder and Robin van Persie when the two sides face off in a Group B match here Friday to start their 2014 World Cup campaign.
Wesley Sneijder will mark a major milestone when he wins his 100th international cap in their opening World Cup Group B game on Friday but his return to the heartbeat of the Netherlands team was in doubt 12 months ago.
Dutch coach Louis van Gaal will be looking to his experienced trio of Wesley Sneijder, Arjen Robben and Robin van Persie to engineer a second successive appearance in the World Cup final after he named his definitive 23-man squad on Saturday.
A pivotal figure in European football in recent years, Arjen Robben leads a clutch of Dutch masters who know this year may represent their last chance to help the Netherlands finally get their hands on the World Cup.