Netherlands striker Robin van Persie has said he will play through the pain barrier to represent his country at the World Cup.
The Dutch will be Spain’s first opponents in a repeat of the 2010 final, with the Group B match taking place on June 13.
Van Persie has spoken at a Press conference and said that while he feels close to fitness after an injury-affected end to the season, he’ll have to grin and bear the lingering discomfort.
“I’m taking steps forward, some larger than others,” AS reports the Manchester United forward as saying.
“But I’m fine and in good condition. After six years of playing with some pain, I’m used to it.”
Van Persie also discussed the conditions in Brazil, admitting they will take some getting used to.
“We’re not accustomed to so much moisture and heat, but we’ve arrived early and we’ll acclimatise well,” he said.
“It could be worse. Our headquarters could be Salvador or the Amazon. Anyway, the weather is no excuse.”
The subject of La Roja was briefly raised, with van Persie questioned about the presence of Diego Costa, who wasn’t part of the 2010 triumph.
“Diego is a great player but what worries us is Spain as a team, not individuals. They’re world champions,” he replied.
The Netherlands squad is a mix of experience such as van Persie, Arjen Robben and Wesley Sneijder, and a number of younger players. Van Persie, in his third World Cup, predicted a good tournament if the balance between the groups is struck.
“I’ll keep the other two World Cups in my pocket. This is a new and very exciting experience,” he said.
“If the veterans and the young players combine well we are sure we will get a good result.”