Just football

Arjen Robben gives up hope on World Cup dream

Netherlands captain Arjen Robben says it’s unlikely to beat Sweden by seven-goal margin.

Despite having a mathematical chance of qualifying for next year’s World Cup, Netherlands captain Arjen Robben says their dream of going to Russia has been dashed after a slow start to the campaign.

Robben, who scored one and set up another in a 3-1 win at Belarus in their World Cup qualifier, said it is highly unlikely to leapfrog Sweden.

The 33-year-old said, “It caused me a lot of pain, but unfortunately that is part of sport.”

Sweden’s 8-0 home demolition of Luxembourg on Saturday was a crushing blow, said Robben. “We couldn’t believe it was that much,” he told Dutch television.

“After the result in Sweden we could not do much more than come out with our chests out. But to win 8-0 in Belrus was never going to be realistic. And 7-0 at home against Sweden, that’s not going to happen either.

“Obviously we must keep believing until the last minute but I had better say what everyone is thinking. It is not realistic to think we can beat Sweden with a big score. People had best leave their calculators at home.”

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