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Gunners star hopes to achieve what Dutch legends of '74 and '78 could not

Robin van Persie hopes to draw inspiration from his World Cup idols and help Holland finally achieve their dream of being crowned the world champions.

After Holland's 3-2 victory over Uruguay secured a place in the final, van Persie spoke of his obsession to be a World Cup winner just like Argentina legend Diego Maradona, whom the Arsenal star has a photo of on his wall at home.

"It's an unbelievable picture of him holding up the World Cup," van Persie told The Guardian.

"He's on his team-mates' shoulders and you can see the passion and the pride in his face. If we win it, I want that same picture but with me up there."

Holland will take on Spain in a mouth-watering World Cup final match-up where one country will finally end their decades of frustration and earn the title of world champions for the first time.

The Dutch are looking to avenge losses in the 1974 and 1978 finals, and van Persie draws inspiration on World Cup heroes of the past to try and achieve a feat that the most famous Holland legend could not accomplish.

"As soon as I saw the video of Maradona lifting the trophy and crying back in '86 when I was a boy, I was hooked.

"I can't tell you how many times I've watched that clip. I have always wanted to play in a final. To do that means more than anything. In my mind, some of the best football memories out there have come in a World Cup final. Now I want to add another.

"Of course I've watched the two Dutch finals as well, and I know our country's history in this competition.

“It's almost like you have to fight against the generations of 1974 and 1978. They were unbelievable: great players who came so close.

“To think that we could win it where they did not is unbelievable because they are legends – [Johan] Cryuff, [Johan] Neeskens, [Wim]Jansen – whose names you grew up with.

"Back home, if any of those guys says something on the television or in the press, everybody listens because of what they achieved as players. Maybe people will listen to me in future. But, for now, none of this feels real. I'm used to watching other teams in the final but here we are, right in the middle of it. It hasn't sunk in."

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