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Netherlands v Spain

Robben playing through pain barrier

July 11, 2010
By Soccernet staff

Netherlands star Arjen Robben admits he is still some way short of full fitness as he prepares for the World Cup final.

Arjen Robben
PA PhotosArjen Robben suffered an injury in the build-up to the World Cup

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Robben suffered a hamstring injury during a pre-tournament warm-up match but, after an intensive one-week rehabilitation period, he was included in the squad and made his first appearance as a substitute in the final group game against Cameroon.

He has since proved one of Netherlands' stars of the summer, nominated for the Golden Ball award despite his limited playing time, but he insists he is still having to play through the pain barrier and cannot perform to potential.

"I am not yet at my very best, but that is because I am still getting pain from my injury," he said. "I can still play but it's not like I can play a pain-free game.

"Fortunately, it's getting better, but obviously it's not perfect. You have to be fit to be at your very best, but I will try to do as much as possible."

Robben sat out part of Friday's training session and Bert van Marwijk admits he is "taking a risk" on the winger.