Robben: Costa Rica rugby tackled me

Byespn staff via ESPN logo
Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Arjen Robben accused Costa Rica of deliberately fouling him during Netherlands' 2014 World Cup quarterfinal win and criticised their tactics, saying "football won on the night."

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Robben's conduct became a subject for debate after he admitted diving during Netherlands' round of 16 victory against Mexico but also made headlines during the tournament for the right reasons after scoring three goals and assisting another as he played a key role for Louis van Gaal's side.

In quotes reported by Marca from Dutch TV, the Bayern Munich winger spoke out about the tactics which he felt left him exposed to excessive fouls.

He said: "I'm tired of all the insults. Today I was rugby-tackled throughout the game."

He added: "We deserved the win. They only had one chance in 117 minutes. Football won on the night."

Robben attributed Netherlands' unexpected success to their morale and talked up their chances of going one better than 2010, when they finished runners-up to Spain in South Africa.

He said: "We're still in it. Our team spirit is what makes this a great team. If we continue like this, we can go far."

Meanwhile, Van Gaal's assistant Patrick Kluivert responded to a question about how Netherlands will attempt to harness Lionel Messi by warning that Argentina will have to be equally wary of Robben.

He said: "Argentina have some great individual talents in their team. Both teams have their share of game-changers and match-winners.

"How are we going to stop Messi? Well, how are they going to stop Robben? Messi is a special talent."

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