Van Persie: Spain header my best ever goal

The Netherlands forward believes his "brilliant" diving effort that levelled their opening World Cup game and set up a stunning victory over the world champions was his greatest
Robin van Persie says that his diving header during Netherlands' 5-1 demolition of Spain was the best goal of his career.

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The Manchester United forward equalised for the Oranje with a stunning effort in their opening World Cup game against La Roja, and went on to score again as Louis van Gaal's men ran riot over the defending world champions.

The 30-year-old heralded the result as "unreal" in the aftermath of the win, and has since declared his vital looping effort over Iker Casillas as the greatest he has ever scored.

"It is the best goal of my career," Van Persie told The Sun. "It was a brilliant goal, even I have to say that.

"I look at the occasion and this was one of the biggest so far in my career. It was a bit of a gamble but I spotted Casillas off his line before the cross came in.

"Just before I received the ball, I saw Casillas standing in front of his goal, so it was a header but a lobbed header - a great goal."

Van Persie has scored a number of high-profile goals during his career - including a superb volley against Chalrton seven years ago for Arsenal - but the striker says that his most recent effort tops that due to the occasion.

"I remember the goal at Charlton. If I choose between the Charlton goal for Arsenal and this one, it is quite simple," he continued. "I have to choose this one because it's the World Cup and against the No.1 team in the world for the last six years. They have an incredible team. So I go for this goal."

While the Netherlands have recieved high praise for their dismantling of Vicente del Bosque's side, Van Persie insists that it is too early in the tournament for his side to get ahead of themselves.

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"The tournament has barely started yet,” he told “We achieved an impressive result but we have a long way to go to win this tournament.

"This is my fifth [major] tournament and I know how these things work: the euphoria vanishes just as quickly as it appears. So we have to make sure that we hold on to it - not only for the people and fans, but also for ourselves."

The Dutch striker did admit, however, that his understanding with Van Gaal - who is set to become his club manager at United after the World Cup ends - can give them the edge in the tournament.

“We have a coach who's won everything and who is greatly respected and trusted by our team,” Van Persie added. “And we are in tune with what he wants.

"If you have such a connection with your trainer, and I speak for the whole team, it is definitely a huge advantage.

“Our coach isn't easily impressed, and he lets us know too. So we are taught to respect our opponents, but not be intimidated - because we are just as good. That's something we proved to everyone against Spain.”