Robben's the standout player in Brazil
Robben is playing the best football of his life to help Holland break World Cup hoodoo
(Leroy Fer 77, Memphis Depay 90+2)
Three players were tipped to be the stars of this World Cup.
One man currently stands ahead of all of them.
Neymar has dealt with extraordinary pressure well, but the bulk of four goals - two against Croatia and another double against Cameroon (this morning, Singapore time) have come against weak opposition.
Lionel Messi has been largely disappointing, redeeming himself with two world-class goals.
Cristiano Ronaldo, hampered by injury, his judgment clouded by a desire to do it all on his own, has struggled.
Arjen Robben, on the other hand, is playing the best football of his life in the strongest group in the tournament.
Now 30, this is the last chance for a supremely talented footballer to make the most of his ability and it's a chance that he has grabbed with both hands.
Even in a drab tactical stalemate with Chile before Holland grabbed two late goals, Robben shone.
He had the better of the chances when the game was tight and, when space opened up towards the end, he made the most of it.
His late run, using energy he had no right to have at that stage of the game, tore the Chileans apart, and then he found Memphis Depay with a perfectly judged pass.
And this was his first game in the World Cup in which he hasn't scored.
Two goals against Spain have earned Robben a place in one of the proudest nights in the history of Dutch football.
Another against Australia was a perfect summation of his talents, a long, high speed run through the defence and then an excellent finish where other men would be on their haunches from the effort.
Robin van Persie's suspension has given him in the edge in what at times has seemed to be a private battle between them for Man-of-the-Match awards.
Holland have never won a World Cup, coming closest in 1974 when their Johan Cruyff-inspired team squandered a lead against West Germany and, again in 2010, when their attempts to kick Spain into the stands proved an insufficient strategy.
They may not come any closer this year but, in qualifying for the next stage with maximum points, they've already outperformed expectations.
Even a coach as confident as Louis van Gaal admitted that there were many teams in the tournament with more chance of winning than the Dutch.
Perhaps it was that sort of talk that so enlivened Robben.
Perhaps van Gaal was trying to get his players to prove him wrong. If so, it's proving a useful strategy.
Robben has won the league with four different teams in four different nations, seven titles in total as well as clutch of individual awards.
And yet he has never been a well-loved player.
Partly, this has been his own fault, the result of too much play-acting, too much injury-feigning, too much of the dark arts.
It's also because his efforts can often go unnoticed. He has one famous and entirely predictable special move; to cut inside and smash the ball into the goal with his left foot.
But, as well known as that move is, so few teams have ever found a way to stop it.
This summer, he seems to be working on his darker side.
His goal against Australia was notable, not just because it was so special, but because he actually rode a challenge, resisted the temptation to dive and then carried on to score.
Perhaps he is learning what the people like. Perhaps he has just grown up a little.
Either way, in the first fortnight of the World Cup, he has become the standout star.
Now he has to go further. Now he has to help his nation fulfil their dream and win the World Cup.
ROUND OF 16
- Brazil v Chile (Sat, 11.59pm)
- Holland v Mexico (Sun, 11.59pm)
We have to take time to enjoy this fantastic result, but it shouldn’t end here. We have to change our mindset and look ahead because we really want to move forward.
— Man of the match Arjen Robben warns there is more to come from the flying Dutch team
Van Gaal fumes over tactics probe
Holland coach Louis van Gaal took journalists to task this morning (Singapore time) as he bristled at suggestions he wasn't playing attacking football at the World Cup.
After his team beat Chile 2-0 to top Group B with three wins out of three, van Gaal (above) fired back questions at the press conference when asked about his counter-attacking set-up.
"Could you give me a definition of attacking football? That's my question to you," van Gaal questioned one journalist.
"I'm asking you, if you have such a clever question... If you're going to ask me questions, I'm going to ask you questions."
Opposing coach Jorge Sampaoli had also criticised the Dutch tactics, saying: "They ended up winning, but in my opinion it was unfair because I think Chile made a huge effort to attack.
"We wanted to play and Holland didn't."
Dutch midfielder Wesley Sneijder snapped back at Sampaoli.
He said: "It's a little bit disrespectful to say that we didn't do anything today because we were the ones who won 2-0."
Van Gaal refused to comment, but did say that his strategies were simply designed to win.
In a cagey game of little attacking endeavour, the Dutch struck twice late on through Leroy Fer and Memphis Depay.
"It's all about winning, so I use the system I think will let me win... that's what I think football is," van Gaal said.
"You have to evaluate a strategy that will help you win, and this is the proof in the pudding. We're not giving away games and we're winning."
Van Gaal added that he had used a similar 5-3-2 system to win the 2009 Dutch championship with AZ Alkmaar. At this World Cup, Holland have beaten Spain 5-1 and Australia 3-2.
"This has nothing to do with the fact that you play more offensive or less offensive," van Gaal said.
"It simply has to do with the fact that my team, my group and staff always want to score one more goal than the other team." - Wire Services.