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In-form Huntelaar reflects on whirlwind week

If a deadline-day move and a hat-trick were not enough, a breathless Klaas-Jan Huntelaar completed a memorable week with both goals in the Netherlands' 2-1 victory against Finland.

Klaas-Jan Huntelaar has scored five goals in the Netherlands' first two qualifiers
Klaas-Jan Huntelaar has scored five goals in the Netherlands' first two qualifiers ©Getty Images

Klaas-Jan Huntelaar was left to reflect on one of the most satisfying weeks of his career having scored both goals in the Netherlands' 2-1 win against Finland.

A deadline-day acquisition for FC Schalke 04, Huntelaar struck a hat-trick in the Oranje's opening UEFA EURO 2012 qualifier – a 5-0 win in San Marino on Friday. Four days later and he was at it again, this time in Rotterdam, as Bert van Marwijk's FIFA World Cup runners-up kept pace with Group E leaders Sweden. Next up is the small matter of his debut for his new club.

"It has been an excellent week and I hope I can continue this on Friday [when Schalke visit TSG 1899 Hoffenheim]," said the 27-year-old former AC Milan and Real Madrid CF forward. "It is important for any striker, especially me, to score goals. It is good to be a striker for the Dutch team; the way the Oranje play suits me best."

Far from being unequivocally satisfied, though, Huntelaar was disappointed Finland were allowed back into the game after he scored twice in the first 16 minutes. "For the first 20 minutes we played well," he said. "At 2-0 we thought we could increase our lead but after [Mikael Forssell's] goal for Finland we became less secure and lost our shape a bit. In the second half we improved but could not match our levels of the first 20 minutes."

Huntelaar's international tally now stands at an impressive 21 goals from 38 games, only three fewer than the legendary Marco van Basten. "That ratio can still improve a bit," he continued. "I showed what I'm capable of over the past few days, but it is up to the coach to decide." For now, though, club duties must take priority once more.

"On Wednesday I'll have my official presentation and first training session with Schalke," said Huntelaar. "On Thursday training again, on Friday a match and then on Saturday I think I will have to go back to Milan and pick up some stuff and my car from the airport. Then back to Schalke to prepare for the Champions League [trip to Olympique Lyonnais]."

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