Bert Van Marwijk says his team can win the World Cup – but will be underdogs against “invincible” Brazil.
The Netherlands take on the five-time World Champions in a mouth-watering quarter-final clash in Port Elizabeth on Friday afternoon.
And Van Marwijk says that belief is growing throughout his squad, especially with the goal-scoring return of Arjen Robben in the 2-1 win against Slovakia.
“I have talked about our positive form but we shouldn’t get too big-headed,” said Van Marwijk, whose outfit are unbeaten in 23 games. “The Brazilians also convey this confidence, it is almost like they are invincible. Against Brazil, perhaps we might be the underdogs for the first time in South Africa. But we are here for one reason, to get the big prize. We have to believe in it. People might have laughed at us when we said we were capable of winning the World Cup. But you have to show a real mentality, a constant focus. I think we are showing that.”
He also welcomed Robben’s successful comeback, and said he could be a key player against Brazil.
Both teams are undefeated in the tournament so far, and it might require a special moment of the type Robben can provide to clinch victory.
“It was important that Robben played for 70 minutes,” said Van Marwijk. “I think he has just passed that fear factor, having recently returned from injury. It’s great news to have Robben fit.”