Van Persie declares himself fit for World Cup

Reuters
Robin van Persie of the Netherlands fights for the ball with James Chester of Wales during their international friendly soccer match in Amsterdam
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Robin van Persie (R) of the Netherlands fights for the ball with James Chester of Wales during their …

(Reuters) - Netherlands captain Robin van Persie has declared himself 100 percent fit for the World Cup as the Dutch national side arrived in Rio de Janeiro on Friday for the June 12-July 13 tournament.

The Manchester United striker was withdrawn at half-time of his country's final warm-up game against Wales in Amsterdam on Wednesday with a groin issue but insisted it was only as a precautionary measure after he felt some discomfort. Van Persie added that he had also fully recovered from the knee injury which kept him out action for two months towards the end of the Premier League season. "Against Wales, I stayed behind in the changing room for the second half just to be careful because the match against Spain is much more important," he said of the opening game for the Dutch at the World Cup in Salvador on Friday - a repeat of the 2010 final.

"My groin was progressively a little irritated. If it had been a sudden pain I would been concerned but you can't really even call it an injury."

As far as his knee was concerned, Van Persie said in an interview in Friday's edition of the Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf, conducted on the flight to Rio, that he continued to work daily on strengthening the muscles.

"I've had no twinges from the knee since the injury healed and that's several weeks now. Obviously, I've had to make an effort to get my fitness back and that I've build up perfectly in training over the last weeks."

The Dutch will also face Chile and Australia in World Cup Group B.

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