Netherlands news

Van Persie overtakes Cruyff record

March 27, 2013
By ESPN staff

Manchester United striker Robin van Persie scored two goals as Netherlands beat Romania 4-0 at the Amsterdam ArenA, to overtake the legendary Johan Cruyff.

Robin van Persie (c) is mobbed after scoring from the penalty spot
GettyImagesRobin van Persie is the Netherlands captain

Cruyff, who became one of the greatest players in history with the Oranje in the 1970s, netted 33 goals in 48 caps, and Van Persie's brace has now seen him reach 34 international goals.

Van Persie's first international cap also came in a World Cup qualifier against Romania - a 2-0 victory in 2005 - and he has gone to play 74 times for his country.

The striker is now just six goals shy of Patrick Kluivert's all-time 40-goal record and, after the side stretched their lead at the top of qualifying Group D to seven points, manager Loius Van Gaal was full of praise for him.

"Van Persie was very unlucky in the first half but in the second half he was actually very happy, because he made an incredible world-class goal," he told Voetbal International.

"It was a ball that he could barely head, but he deliberately hit it into the top corner. And he also put the penalty well inside [the goal]. He was also a great target man, as you saw in his first goal."

The Netherlands need just six more points from their final four matches to ensure they reach the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.