Netherlands midfielder Wesley Sneijder credited prime fitness levels for his influential display in the 5-1 thrashing of Spain.
Louis van Gaal's team produced the sensation of the opening round of FIFA World Cup games as they put the reigning champions to the sword in Salvador.
Playing behind dynamic forward duo Robin van Persie and Arjen Robben and ahead of the midfield base provided by Nigel de Jong and Jonathan de Guzman, Sneijder covered more than 10 kilometres during the game as a tireless Dutch side overturned Spain's first-half control in thrilling fashion.
"Because Spain (play) with two (holding) midfielders played alongside each other, (Sergio) Busquets and Xabi Alonso, I had considerable distances (to cover) if they had the ball," Sneijder was quoted as saying by AD.nl .
"In collaboration with Nigel and Jonathan we (concentrated) closely because obviously (there are) many Spaniards that switch positions.
"Yet I still had the strength to be valuable in possession. That's a good feeling.
"I'm fit, as everyone can see, so I have the strength to do both."
Indeed, Sneijder combined his impressive workrate with the kind of playmaking quality that has become his trademark, picking up two assists during a rampant second-half showing.
"With two assists against Spain, you will not hear me complaining," said the Galatasaray midfielder before acknowledging the value of his on-field understanding with Robben, who like Van Persie helped himself to a brace.
"We know each other so well that we do not even have to think. Arjen knows exactly when to run, I know how to (make) such a ball fall at such time.
"Really, I enjoy such assists as much as a goal that I score myself."
Aussies Abroad: EFL Cup wrap
It might be early in the English football calendar but with the English Football League Cup commencing this morning, the season’s first silverware is now on the radar for the 92 participating clubs. Several Australian players were in action during a round one that saw multiple
Joeys squad selected for final training camp in Melbourne
Joeys Head Coach Trevor Morgan has named a 26-player squad for a training camp in Melbourne next week (13-19 August) as they prepare for the upcoming AFC U16 Championship in Malaysia which will be held later this year. Morgan is looking forward to working with the players agai
Mixed news for Caltex Socceroos duo in Champions League qualifying
Milos Degenek’s Red Star Belgrade are still alive in their bid to qualify for this season’s UEFA Champions League, but there was heartbreak for Tom Rogic’s Celtic. After a 1-1 draw at home in the first leg, Celtic lost 2-1 against Greek side AEK Athens on Wednesday morning to
Young Socceroos set for kick off in 2018 SBS Cup
A selection of Australia’s finest U18 footballers commence their 2018 SBS Cup campaign in Japan tomorrow evening. Ante Milicic’s side take on the host nation at Fujieda Stadium at 7.30pm kick off (AEST). AUSSIES ABROAD: Maclaren, Vukovic impress in Europe READ: Why Rene