KHARKIV – With Holland set to kick off Euro 2012 against Denmark, one player who may play a big role in the Dutch’s hopes of European glory is talisman Robin van Persie.
Holland—ranked fourth in the FIFA world rankings—are seeded in the so-called “Group of Death” along with the second-ranked Germany, 10th-ranked Denmark and fifth-ranked Portugal, have a challenging road ahead of them in their hopes of winning their second-ever European title.
The Dutch, who would lose to Spain in the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, 1-0 in extra time, may pose the biggest threat—to both defending champion Spain, and tournament favorite, Germany—due to their combination of experience, talent and solid form.
Led by manager, Bert van Marwijk, the Dutch boast a plethora of talent at midfield in Arjen Robben, Wesley Sneijder, Nigel de Jong and Rafael van der Vaart.
van Persie may be joined up front by either Klaas-Jan Huntelaar or Dirk Kuyt at forward on offense, even though van Marwijk has hinted that he may use just one striker.
If there is one striker to use, it has van Persie, who with a brilliant combination of power, good pace and a powerful left foot, give the Flying Dutchmen a legitimate shot of advancing out of the group stage and right into the Euro 2012 final in Kiev.
Holland will need to lean on van Persie up front if they hope to contend with a formidable German side that has Bastian Schweinsteiger and Thomas Muller and a ever-dangerous Portuguese side that features La Liga scoring machine in Cristiano Ronaldo and Nani.
While van Persie is not the second coming of Dutch soccer legend, Johan Cruyff and van Marwijk is not Rinus Michels, if the Oranje are to survive Group B, it will most likely come down to how far van Persie’s golden left foot will carry them.
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