Even by Robin van Persie’s standards, the Dutchman’s header that looped over a stranded Iker Casillas in the Spain goal was something very special.
“It was a great goal, I have to be fair,” Van Persie said after his stunning equalizer started the Netherlands’ 5-1 rout of the World Cup’s defending champion on Friday in Salvador, Brazil.
“Considering the circumstances, it must be the goal of my career.”
It was also a historic one. By taking his tally to 45 goals for his country, the Manchester United forward also became the first Dutch player to score in three consecutive World Cups.
His special strike started with a pinpoint 40-yard pass from defender Daley Blind. Van Persie flung himself forward to meet it, sending his header sailing over a helpless Casillas, who could only watch as the ball flew into the back of the net.
“I saw Casillas standing a bit in front of the goal, so I decided to go for a loop,” Van Persie said. “It just could not have been more perfect. These kinds of goals are scored once in a lifetime.”
Beckenbauer banned for 90 days
Germany great Franz Beckenbauer was banned from football for 90 days by FIFA for not cooperating with an investigation into the 2018 and 2022 World Cup bids.
The suspension makes Beckenbauer the first person to be punished as a result of the case.
Beckenbauer was a voting member of FIFA’s executive committee in December 2010 when it chose Russia as 2018 World Cup host and Qatar to stage the 2022 tournament.
Beckenbauer on Friday said Garcia had sent him “around 130 questions, such as how old was the grandmother when she died. And I really wasn’t bothered.”
He said he informed FIFA he was prepared to answer the “important questions, the ones about corruption that keep coming regarding the awarding (of the World Cup) to Qatar” but that he needed to understand them fully before he could respond.
Hungary great Grosics dies
Gyula Grosics, the goalkeeper of Hungary’s Golden Team of the 1950s, has died. He was 88.
Grosics’ death on Friday was announced by his family and the Hungarian Football Federation.
He played 86 times for Hungary from 1947 to 1962, including in the famous 6-3 victory over England at Wembley Stadium in 1953 — the host team’s first home loss to a non-British opponent. A few months later, Hungary beat England 7-1 in Budapest.