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Speedy striker Robben starring at World Cup

Published on NewsOK Modified: June 27, 2014 at 11:00 am •  Published: June 27, 2014

FORTALEZA, Brazil (AP) — Arjen Robben just seems to get quicker and quicker. The 30-year-old Bayern Munich winger has out-sprinted every defender he has faced at the World Cup so far and is scoring goals, too.

It is a far cry from the final four years ago, when he couldn't find the net and possibly win the tournament for the Netherlands.

Robben seemed doomed to be remembered at World Cups for the second-half chance he squandered against Spain in the final in Johannesburg, when Iker Casillas stuck out a boot and deflected his shot away from goal with the score still 0-0.

The Bayern Munich forward still gets asked about that miss, but he has silenced critics at this World Cup with three goals in as many matches and a perfect assist to set up the team's second goal against Chile as the Dutch topped Group B with three straight wins, scoring 10 goals in the process.

"I think Arjen has done a great job so far and at the moment I wouldn't change him with any other player in the tournament," said Dirk Kuyt as the Dutch prepared for Sunday's round of 16 clash with Mexico in Fortaleza. "He's scored great goals ... hopefully he can give this performance until the end."

Robben is one of the old guard in the Dutch team — along with strike partner Robin van Persie, he's scored at three successive World Cups — and he has earned the respect of the youngsters snapping at his heels to get into the starting lineup.

"Robben is fantastic," said Memphis Depay. "It's fantastic to train with him every day. I can't believe my eyes what he can do with the ball. It's unbelievable how fast he is with the ball. He's a great player."

Depay should know.

In the Netherlands' final group match against Chile, he had to sprint toward goal as Robben set off on a lightning-fast counterattack down the left wing. The 20-year-old PSV Eindhoven striker managed to catch up with him — just — and was on hand at the far post to tap in an inch-perfect cross.

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