By scoring a hat trick yesterday in a match against Hungary, Robin van Persie became the all-time top scorer of the Dutch national football team. His total is now 41 goals in 80 matches, Dutchnews reports.
The previous record holder was Patrick Kluivert who, being one of the assistant coaches of the Oranje yesterday, congratulated Van Persie after the second goal. Kluivert is now in second place with 40 goals in 79 matches. Two years ago AD still considered Klaas-Jan Huntelaar the most likely pretender to the crown. Van Persie had been a failure at the 2010 world championships in South Africa and in 2011 Huntelaar led the man from Rotterdam with 3 goals in the rankings. Huntelaar hasn’t played much since then whilst Van Persie racked up an impressive 8 goals in the 2014 world cup qualifiers
Both players were born in August 1983 and still have time to work on their personal bests. Huntelaar is now the one who faces the uphill battle though. Dennis Bergkamp was the record holder between 1998 (he took it in typical Bergkamp fashion with a quality goal) and 2003. Up to 1998 Faas Wilkes topped the list for an amazing 38 years and 243 days, nu.nl reports.
Hungary had to win the game to still have a shot at qualifying. The Netherlands were already through—coach Louis van Gaal used the match to experiment, fielding Vlaar and Bruma as central defenders . The Netherlands won the home game 8-1.