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Dutch mini-pitch present to Krakow

Published: Wednesday 6 June 2012, 16.52CET
Robin van Persie gave some Polish children an experience they will never forget by joining in a game at the opening of a mini-pitch in Krakow paid for by the Netherlands team.
by Berend Scholten
from Krakow
 
Published: Wednesday 6 June 2012, 16.52CET

Dutch mini-pitch present to Krakow

Robin van Persie gave some Polish children an experience they will never forget by joining in a game at the opening of a mini-pitch in Krakow paid for by the Netherlands team.

The Netherlands ensured they will forever be remembered in the Bronowice area of Krakow when they opened a mini-pitch on Tuesday.

©Berend Scholten

Robin van Persie was among the Dutch players to test the mini-pitch

The artificial surface, paid for by the players and named after Oranje legend Johan Cruyff, was installed with the aim of leaving a permanent legacy once the squad have returned home from UEFA EURO 2012. Just like they did in Johannesburg at the 2010 FIFA World Cup, they wanted to provide local children with a safe place to hone their technique.

Many Dutch maestros developed their skills in their formative years by playing on the streets. From Cruyff to Ruud Gullit to Robin van Persie, kicking a ball around until it got dark provided a platform for them to become the players they are renowned for being today.

To help inaugurate the mini-pitch, Van Persie participated in a game with some prospective Polish stars of the future. The Arsenal FC striker had earlier underlined the importance of having such a facility available or, as was the case when he was young, a small square in which to practise.

"We played four against four to beat each other," he said. "If you lost you had to go home because 15 other teams were eager to take your place. The beauty of it was that you were constantly developing and improving your kicking technique. My left leg is my strongest, while my right is also reasonably developed thanks to that little square."

Last updated: 26/06/12 5.34CET

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