A 3–2 loss to the Czech Republic sealed the Netherlands’ failure to qualify for Euro 2016. One of those three goals for the Czechs was an impressively terrible own goal from Robin van Persie.
Though Van Persie did go on to score on the correct goal in the 83rd minute, having the own goal in a match your team lost by one to ensure that your nation wouldn’t qualify for the European Championship for the first time since 1984 is an acute pain that adds to a growing period of trouble for the man who scored the most iconic goal of the 2014 World Cup.
The day before the Netherlands’ final Euro qualifier, Van Persie and Memphis Depay got into scrap during training. And last week, he was looking miserable at Fenerbahce.
It’s impossible to know why Van Persie is in such a funk right now, but perhaps he’s regretting his move away from Man United, and resented Memphis for now playing for the club he wishes he stayed with? Whatever it is, Robin should take solace in this: after failing to qualify for Euro 84 (and World Cup ’82 and ‘86), they went on to win Euro ’88 for the first and only time. So hang in there, Robin.