FOOTBALL NEWS

03/07/2014 10:21, Report by Adam Marshall
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Van Persie respect for pals

Robin van Persie has praised his Netherlands colleagues as he prepares for the World Cup quarter-final with Costa Rica on Saturday.

The United striker has scored three times in three games at the tournament and was in a relaxed mood when addressing various media channels ahead of the latest test for Louis van Gaal's side.

Nigel De Jong looks set to miss the remainder of the action due to injury but promising talents such as Memphis Depay and Jordy Clasie are generating plenty of cause for optimism. Feyenoord midfielder Clasie is the only outfield player yet to feature for the Dutch but assisted van Persie's classic strike against Ecuador in a recent friendly and is desperate for a chance to shine.

"I have known Nigel for over 20 years and he is a fighter," said van Persie. "We are really going to miss him against Costa Rica. You could see that against Mexico, even though Daley Blind did well.

"It's great that Nigel is staying with the group as, even off the field, he makes a difference with his energy for the young and older players.

"You always have the feeling the youngsters can also make a difference. What I like about Memphis is that he picks things up so quickly. It is not so easy to be here at a World Cup because the level is so high. Every day, the maximum is required of everyone - including him.

"What he is doing is very mature for his age. It's a childhood dream. We do click well and I really love his beautiful

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