Holland waited four long years to get revenge on Spain for their heartbreaking defeat in the 2010 World Cup final, but tonight in Salvador a side led by the new Manchester United dream team of Louis van Gaal and Robin van Persie absolutely demolished the defending champions in a quite astounding 5-1 victory.
Van Persie has relished the role of captain at international level and showed exactly why he should take up the same role at United next season, a move which would give Van Gaal a trusted leader on the pitch and make sure the Red Devils can get the very best out of a forward among the most technically gifted and tactically astute in world football.
Now of course the praise lavished on Van Persie, Arjen Robben and a scintillating second-half Dutch display should be tempered by harsh criticism of a shocking and unprecedented Spanish capitulation, but United fans have every right to look at the performance of their star striker tonight and wonder why they didn't see the same regularly at Old Trafford last season.
In fairness Van Persie struggled with injuries and still posted 18 goals in all competitions, but he definitely didn't find a harmonious working relationship with previous United boss David Moyes and was missing in action long before the Scot was sacked and replaced in the interim by Ryan Giggs.
Looking to the present though and Van Persie was back at his truly frightening best tonight, a point encapsulated perfectly by a wonderful equaliser against Spain that saw the striker seize an almost improbable half-chance with unnerving ease.
Van Persie leapfroged into the air with shades of Henrik Larrson in Euro 2004 to meet a lovely looping cross from deep by Daley Blind, who by the way looked absolutely sensational at left-back is worth serious consideration as a future United player.
The way Van Persie celebrated that goal was telling, racing to Van Gaal and embracing manager and team-mates with sheer passion, an adjective few reporters were afforded the chance to use about United's efforts last season.
Van Gaal has a fearsome reputation as a man not be crossed but is seriously underrated as a man-manager, just look at the way he's managed to united a notoriously divisive Dutch camp and integrate an exciting mix of youth and experience in an unfamiliar 3-5-2 formation.
You could see tonight why United have broken with tradition to target and land a proven tactician at the very highest level, but surely they should play to his strengths and make sure his wonderful relationship with Van Persie continues to blossom at club level.
Yes there are other stars at United who may be miffed by a short-term decision to appoint a 30-year-old as club captain, but Van Persie is a true world-class performer with experience of using the armband as a positive force for both both Holland and former club Arsenal in the past.
It's time for United to get Van Persie back onside and ensure next season is full of positives, allow Van Gaal to make the forward his skipper and let him lead from the front, as he did in such devastating fashion for Holland tonight.
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