Van Persie to watch Euro 2016 from home
Despite enjoying a resurgence in form with Fenebahce in the Turkish Super Lig, Robin van Persie will have to watch the upcoming European Championship in France from his home after the Netherlands failed to qualify.
Some would argue that the striker may not have been selected even if his country made it through to Euro 2016, with his omission from Danny Blind’s squad for recent friendlies against England and France suggesting that his international career could be coming to an end.
Moving to Turkey may illustrate the dramatic fall from grace that Robin van Persie has endured ever since his superb first season at Manchester United where he single-handedly fired them towards their 20th league title. Fourteen goals in thirty league appearances for Fenerbahce may represent a decent return for a player who has excellent an excellent goal-scoring career, but his inability to lead by example during a disastrous qualifying campaign in which the Netherlands never looked like progressing from a group that many would have expected them to may signal the right time for Robin van Persie to retire from international football.
While other countries will be gearing up for Euro 2016 and making their own predictions through Bookies.com as to who will prevail in France, the Netherlands will be left licking their wounds with all of their star names missing out on the big international stage for the first time in fourteen years.
It will be a shame for those who wish to see the best European players in football to miss out on watching Robin van Persie at Euro 2016; a player who lit up the 2014 World Cup with one of the goals of the tournament in the shock 5-1 hammering of Spain will always gives up a real goal threat. He played a key role as the Netherlands stormed to the semi-finals under Louis Van Gaal, only to agonisingly lose on penalties to Argentina.
Their achievements two years ago may illustrate the considerable fall from grace that the Netherlands have endured; a terrible start to qualifying (losing away at the Czech Republic and Iceland in their first three games) was followed by the dismissal of Guus Hiddink amid claims that the current squad were nowhere near the quality of previous years, then three defeats in their last four fixtures under Blind ended any slight hope that the Netherlands had of scraping through.
Not even Robin van Persie could save them from rapid decline, with just three goals in ten games a disappointing return from a player that Oranje fans had hoped would make the difference in big games against the likes of Turkey, Czech Republic and Iceland (the Netherlands picked up just one point from those six fixtures).
Although Robin van Persie may have found himself amongst the contenders to finish Euro 2016 as the leading scorer, the Netherlands would probably have been ranked amongst the darkhorses due to the contrast in quality between themselves and the likes of Belgium, Spain and Germany. Bookies.com will provide full coverage of the tournament for those who wish to predict the winner, with hosts France currently favourites in the latest Euro 2016 odds.
Didier Deschamps’ side will look to repeat the feats of 1984 and 1998 by winning their third tournament on home soil; it remains to be seen whether Les Bleus can handle the pressure and expectation of an entire nation on their shoulders, although having the likes of Paul Pogba, Raphael Varane and Antoine Griezmann amongst their ranks should give them a great chance.
Spain and Germany have too much quality at their disposal to not be considered anything other than France’s greatest threats, while there is strong support for a Belgium side whose golden generation have all the qualities required to mount a serious challenge. England, Italy and Portugal are amongst the sides to be considered darkhorses for Euro 2016, with all three possessing the ability to turn in big performances but without the consistency to do so throughout an entire tournament.