Arjen Robben believes better times are ahead for Netherlands despite their failure to qualify for a second successive major tournament.
Netherlands missed out on a place at the 2018 World Cup as their 2-0 win over Sweden proved not to be enough to seal a play-off berth.
Robben marked his final international appearance with a brace to secure victory and, though Netherlands will not be featuring at Russia, Robben feels the future is bright for the Oranje, who also failed to qualify for Euro 2016.
“If you’re at school, children who play football, you give everything to win…If you don’t succeed, that’s a huge disappointment. Then it’s okay to be sad, but better times are coming,” Robben said.
Asked how he felt about the fans chanting his name at the Amsterdam Arena, Robben replied: “That was wonderful. I’m so grateful. I’ve played here for 14 years.
“I’ve witnessed so many wonderful things. If it’s so well appreciated by the Dutch fans, then I can only be grateful.”
Right-back Daryl Janmaat echoed Robben’s sentiments over the future of the team.
“Positive,” Janmaat responded when pressed for his assessment of Netherlands going forward. “Everyone is being real negative, that’s easy. We have enough good players. We are in a difficult period now. That’s clear and also very painful.
“But you see we’re better than most of the countries, like Sweden. We were better two times. That is why it’s extra painful we don’t go to the World Cup.”