Holland wing Arjen Robben says he wants to prove national coach Marco van Basten right and show he is one of the best players of his era.
Speaking ahead of Holland’s World Cup opener against Serbia and Montenegro on Sunday, Robben hopes to vindicate the faith placed in him by Van Basten.
“It’s been a while now that he (van Basten) said that (about it being Robben’s World Cup),” said Robben.
“We will if that is borne out on the pitch. What is sure is that I feel good, very fresh.
“But it is clear that the World Cup is the ideal stage to show the whole world what one is worth as a footballer.
“The best players are there. It is a highly motivating factor to be able to compare oneself to the great players before finally trying to become one of them,” added Robben, who has scored 16 times for Chelsea in 69 appearances in all competitions since joining two years ago.
Robben admitted that his group (which also contains Argentina and Ivory Coast) was probably the toughest of the first stage.
“I don’t really want to think about the tournament as a whole at the moment but rather focus on the first match against Serbia-Montenegro,” said Robben.
“They are a solid side (they only conceded one goal in the qualifiers) with classy individuals.
“But we also have a squad packed with quality. We think together, we play really tightly and I am very confident.
“The Dutch have players who can take us a long way in the tournament.
“However we have to stay alert. Because in our group it may be the merest thing that makes the difference.
“It will be a shame to play well but to lose everything because of a slip of concentration.”