Robin van Persie says he can live without a World Cup winner's medal because his 'beautiful' goal against Spain will go down in history.
The Manchester United striker came third in the Fifa Puskas award for goal of the year behind Stephanie Roche and James Rodriguez. The goal in question, coming in the opening game in the group stage, is now immortalised as one of the greatest in World Cup history.
He joins the likes of Marco van Basten and Dennis Bergkamp in the ranks of scoring incredible goals on the biggest stage in football. Those goals are celebrated in Holland as fondly as a World Cup victory may well have been. Of course, for all their rich history the Netherlands are still yet to win a World Cup having lost three finals in their time.
For Van Persie, who is now enjoying life with his favourite Dutchman Louis van Gaal at Old Trafford, a World Cup winner's medal is not as important to him as he is now engrained as part of the competition's rich history.
Translated by Sport Witness, he told De Telegraph: "You play in the first place to win a World Cup. But it's also nice if, when you're on the biggest stage in the world, you can leave something beautiful.
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"When I think of Cruyff comes to mind his dribble in the World Cup final... With Marco van Basten you think of that goal in the European Championship final.
"With Dennis Bergkamp I always think back to that goal against Argentina.. the quarter-finals. When I think of Frank de Boer that pass that preceded the goal of Bergkamp."
Van Persie would be deserving of a World Cup medal. His career in the Premier League has been vastly successful, culminating in a Premier League win with Manchester United in 2013. Currently earning £250,000-a-week, he will go down as one of the game's more notable strikers.
His form this season, however, has been found wanting slightly. The 31-year-old has scored eight goals in 20 Premier League outing this season, which for him is slightly below peak performance.
An ankle injury suffered against Southampton at the weekend kept him away from the Ballon d'Or ceremony.
He tweeted: "On advice of the club medical staff I am unable to fly out to Zurich to attend the FIFA Ballon d'Or gala for my nomination for the Puskas award.
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