Netherlands team-mates Arjen Robben and Bruno Martins Indi have clashed in training ahead of the World Cup in Brazil.
The players came together during a practice match, with Martins Indi putting a strong tackle in on Robben, leading the Bayern Munich superstar to kick out at the player later in the session.
David Kent of the Mail Online reported that the two players had clashed during a training match, but Robben had appeared unhurt after the defender's tackle on him.
Kent writes that Martins Indi spoke about the altercation to the press, but Robben did not comment. The Feyenoord player said:
"Arjen is a good dribbler. I thought he fell needlessly once. We had a little head-to-head."
When one reporter said he had seen irritation between Martins Indi and Robben, the centre-back replied, per Kent:
"You saw right."
Both players are key for Louis van Gaal at the World Cup finals and will need to heal any rift with immediate effect.
The manager recently spoke about his nation's chances of success and will need his best players to be unified and on form.
Miguel Delaney of The Independent quoted LvG saying:
"There are eight to 10 teams better than we are. The chances of reaching the quarter-finals are 20 per cent.”
However, Spanish coach Vicente del Bosque spoke about Van Gaal's team and how much he respected them as competitors.
Dutch football writer and Bleacher Report columnist Elko Born tweeted:
The player has become an important component in the Dutch defence during the qualifying campaign and any disaffection with Robben playing in front of him would surely be counterproductive.
The Dutch have had issues before with their players behind the scenes at international tournaments, and they will move quickly to nip this episode in the bud.
Robben has been in strong form recently, with the player being key in the Netherlands' 2-0 friendly win against Wales in Amsterdam.
He scored one and assisted another, showing how deadly he might be in Brazil, per BBC Sport.
If the Netherlands are to give Van Gaal the perfect send-off as he begins his adventure in English football, Robben will need to be happy and content with those around him. He has shown in the past that he can be temperamental, but this will be his final chance to shine at a World Cup.
However, Martins Indi is one for the present and future, and he is a potential leader for Netherlands at this tournament and beyond. He is ready to make the next step in his career as an international defender, and it is unlikely that this incident will affect his preparations.
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