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One swallow dive makes a summer?

"The slow-motion replays conveyed the drama perfectly, van Persie landing face first on the turf but quickly ignoring any pain by glancing up and seeing the ball nestle in the net. Little wonder he broke into a huge grin."

- Adam Marshall, ManUtd.com

16/06/2014 13:37, Report by Adam Marshall
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Blog: Rocking Robin

There are some moments in football that reverberate around the world and nobody can doubt the impact of Robin van Persie's spectacular diving header against Spain.

To all observers watching in the stadium and on TV, it was a stunning example of world-class finishing by the Manchester United striker and has been the topic of many a conversation ever since. It was the subject on everybody's lips the following day and many seasoned followers were still in awe of what they had witnessed, appreciating it was a classic World Cup goal. 

Remarkably, I heard it said afterwards that it was his first touch in the Spanish half of the entire game as he had largely been starved of service while Vicente del Bosque's champions probed in a bid to extend their one-goal lead.

With half time approaching, Daley Blind's excellent through ball gave the Dutch skipper an opportunity on the edge of the box and he weighed up his options in a split second. Diving to lift a superb header over Iker Casillas was not the idea that would have come first to mind for many players and it was a stroke of sheer genius. The slow-motion replays conveyed the drama perfectly, van Persie landing face first on the turf but quickly ignoring any pain by glancing up and seeing the ball nestle in the net. Little wonder he broke into a huge grin.

His next thought, of course, was to sprint towards coach Louis van Gaal and exchange a well-intentioned, if poorly-executed, high-five with the man who will join him at Old Trafford next term. It was another image that excited United fans watching on - indeed our Instagram post achieved a record number of 'likes', and the response on social media was one of giddiness to the prospect of the pair working in tandem in the Barclays Premier League.

Afterwards, van Persie acknowledged the tactical nous of van Gaal, explaining how the coach had predicted the downfall of the holders and implemented his plan to perfection. Again, it was impossible not to fast forward to August and trust the Netherlands boss to work his magic in the English top flight when he manages in it for the first time.

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