Netherlands can win the World Cup, insists Robben

The winger believes his side will be realistic contenders next summer and has warned of the danger posed by Keisuke Honda and Shinji Kagawa ahead of the friendly with Japan

Arjen Robben insists the Netherlands have the ability to win the 2014 World Cup and will be going to Brazil next summer determined to lift the trophy.

The Oranje were runners-up in the 2010 tournament after Andres Iniesta’s goal won the final for Spain in South Africa, but Bayern Munich ace Robben is fully confident his side can go one better this time around.

“Our final goal is to become world champions in Brazil,” the 29-year-old told reporters.

“It’s a realistic target and we won’t go there with the attitude to just see how far we can get.

“We must survive the group stage and if we progress, the world title is our dream.”

Louis van Gaal’s side find themselves in a rich vein of form after going unbeaten for 15 games stretching back over a year, but Robben has warned their run will be put to the test in upcoming friendlies against Colombia and Japan.

“These matches are not about getting points, but they’re important,” he stressed.

“These are two countries you can end up playing against in Brazil.  Most people talk about Colombia, because they’re that high on the Fifa ranking, but maybe Japan is even an more difficult opponent.

“I know a lot of players from the Bundesliga. Besides that, [Keisuke] Honda and [Shinji] Kagawa are very good players.”

Robin van Persie’s withdrawal from the squad means Robben is set to start the friendlies in Genk and Amsterdam as captain, and the former Chelsea winger admits he will be proud to take on the armband.

“It’s an honour to be captain of your country,” he added. “It’s the most beautiful thing.

“I don’t feel extra pressure, maybe a bit of positive pressure. I know what people are expecting from me.  I won’t change because of the captaincy. I will stay myself.”

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