It’s quite unlikely that Robin van Persie will be remembered as the greatest Dutch player in history, but he does have one historic mark to his name, making it to 41 goals for the Netherlands national team, becoming the all-time leading scorer for the Oranje.
Van Persie leaves behind Patrick Kluivert, who scored 40 goals for the national side in 79 caps, thanks to his hat trick in the 8-1 win over Hungary, even if he wasn’t supposed to play in that match because of a slight injury, and the Netherlands already qualifying to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
Van Persie has an average of 0.51 goals per match for the national side, reaching his record in 80 matches, and it looks like it’ll be standing for quite some time, not to mention Van Persie, who has been in the best form of his career over the last three seasons, isn’t going to suddenly stop scoring from the way things are going for him. Klaas-Jan Huntelaar is next on the list among active players with 34 goals in 60 matches, but he isn’t likely to go past Van Persie in what’s left of both players careers for the national team.
But Van Persie, who has already played in two World Cups and two Euro tournaments with the Dutch, needs to make his next international tournaments matter, like the 2010 World Cup, although it wasn’t Van Persie’s finest hour in terms of production. He scored once in the 2006 World Cup, twice in the 2008 Euro, only once in the 2010 tournament despite going all the way to the final and once in the failure that was Euro 2012.
For a bigger place in history, there’s always what he does with clubs, which has been only one league title so far with Manchester United. Maybe more of that is on its way, but for one of the more gifted scorers in European football for the past five years, international success with a national team that’s been known for going all the way without coming up with the goods could be the best thing to ensure his place in history, especially in the Netherlands.