Arjen Robben was one of many Dutch players to shine in Friday's 2014 World Cup action, as his brace helped power the Netherlands to a shocking 5-1 victory over reigning world champions Spain.
The 30-year-old's first goal broke a tie game and put the Dutch up 2-1 after he finished a beautiful cross from Daley Blind, cutting past Spanish defender Gerard Pique and ripping the ball past goalkeeper Iker Casillas into the back of the net.
Take a look at Robben's first goal:
Just 11 minutes after Robben's eventual game-winner, Stefan de Vrij's header put the Netherlands up 3-1 in the 64th minute. However, Robben—along with his team—wasn't done there.
With Spain relentlessly attacking and looking for a way back into the match, Robben took advantage. He went on a blistering run into the Spanish box, kept the ball away from Casillas and got his shot past two Spanish defenders lurking in the net to complete the brace.
The Big Lead's Tyler Duffy captured what most of Twitter was saying in one word:
ROBBEN!!!!— Tyler Duffy (@tyduffy) June 13, 2014
ESPN caught a screenshot of Robben celebrating toward the TV cameras:
Robben's first goal came after he flicked the ball past Pique, spurring Men in Blazers to quip in the direction of the Spanish defender's girlfriend:
Robben gets to keep Shakira— Men in Blazers (@MenInBlazers) June 13, 2014
The game-winning goal was a splendid display of footballing class, as CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora observed:
A touch of total football there for the Oranje. Wow. What a touch by Robben to cradle that longball in the box and finish— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) June 13, 2014
Paul Carr of ESPN noted the historical perspective, as Robben joined fellow bracescorer Robin van Persie in elite company:
Arjen Robben is the second Dutchman to score at three World Cups, joining Robin van Persie.— Paul Carr (@PCarrESPN) June 13, 2014
After Robben's second goal, SB Nation's Spencer Hall admired his ambition:
I like that there was an open man and absolutely zero chance of Robben passing there.— Spencer Hall (@edsbs) June 13, 2014
In the wake of Robben taking it himself for his second goal, ESPN's SportsCenter reacted:
"It's a landslide!" Arjen Robben puts on a dribbling show and finishes with the left-footed strike. Netherlands take a stunning 5-1 lead.— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) June 13, 2014
CSNBayArea.com's Ray Ratto noticed how Robben set up his second goal to keep it on his dominant left foot:
Arjen Robben run an extra 15 yards to avoid waking up his right foot.— Ray Ratto (@RattoCSN) June 13, 2014
Bleacher Report's Rik Sharma noted that while it was quite the high for Robben, it left former Real Madrid teammate Casillas sputtering after allowing five goals in the loss:
One of the great World Cup performances, from Arjen Robben. And a personal low for Iker Casillas. pic.twitter.com/x2qajuJegM— Rik Sharma (@riksharma_) June 13, 2014
Adidas Football wasn't shy to promote Robben in the wake of his epic performance:
Grantland's Bill Barnwell was quick to point out how Robben has been controlling things for quite some time for the Dutch:
Arjen Robben really has been holding down the fort for a generation. First-ballot Prematurely Bald Athlete Hall of Famer.— Bill Barnwell (@billbarnwell) June 13, 2014
It was far from the first time that Robben has shown his world-class ability on the biggest stage, as he was an integral part of the Netherlands' run to the final in South Africa four years ago.
Entering Brazil on the wrong side of 30, however, questions were raised as to whether he could lead an older Dutch side to the promised land in 2014.
He, along with the rest of the Dutch national team, answered that in resounding fashion on Friday in a result that is sure to go down as one of the biggest surprises of the entire tournament.
The Netherlands are far from through, as they have upcoming matches against Australia and Chile to round out the group stage. But after an impressive showing against the world champions, Robben and the rest of the Dutch are the biggest story so far in Brazil.