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Robin van Persie produces masterclass for World XI vs Rangers!

Football fans were treated to a spectacle of legends football at the Ibrox stadium on Sunday afternoon, as former Arsenal & Manchester United striker Robin van Persie produced a dominant performance in a match between Rangers and the World XI.

The match featured a host of big names, including Jermaine Defoe, Ronald de Boer and Pedro Mendes starting for Rangers. The World XI enjoyed the likes of Jaap Stam, Michal Essien, and the aforementioned Robin van Persie in their starting lineup.

There was no shortage of stars

Despite being retired since 2019, RVP proved he’s still got it with a string of impressive performances throughout the game – including a brace of goals, an assist, and a near miss overhead kick! The Dutchman showed off his trademark movement, touch and finishing ability throughout the night, stealing the show in a lineup of huge footballing names.

Despite it being van Persie and the World XI who would eventually steal the night, it was Rangers who opened up the scoring early on through Jermain Defoe.

Not long after, Van Persie got to work and levelled the scores when he latched onto a wonderful cross from the right hand side, courtesy of Stewart Downing, nodding the ball into the far bottom corner with just over 20 minutes played.

Not 5 minutes later, he would help the World XI go ahead by providing Jack Wilshere with an assist. From the middle of the park, he slotted a beautiful pass through the Rangers’ defense, allowing Wilshere just enough time to touch the ball around the incoming keeper before calmly finishing.

The Dutchman would very nearly net himself another goal shortly afterwards, and in spectacular fashion. Van Persie made a perfectly timed run into the Rangers penalty box to meet a well-placed chip from Michal Essien, catching the advancing blue backline off guard. Realising he was unmarked, RVP went for something special, and fired a bicycle kick towards the goal on his right foot.

Van Persie’s cheeky attempt at a goal of the match, despite showcasing athleticism, didn’t carry the venom that it perhaps would have back in his heyday, and Rangers keeper Ronald Wattereus took it safely into his hands.

Rangers gave as good as they got from the World XI, and levelled the scores at 2-2 before the half time whistle blew. World XI defender, Michael Dawson handled the ball in the box, handing Rangers an opportunity to get themselves back in the match.

The initial penalty was saved by David James, but the former England keeper couldn’t do anything about a follow up finish from Jermain Defoe, who netted his 2nd goal of the night to bring Rangers level.

Changes were made at half time by both sides, with Alex Rae, Marvin Andrews, Daniel Cousin and Jonatan Johansson coming on for Rangers, and Wes Brown, Luis Boa Morte and Nwankwo Kanu for the World XI.

It would be a World XI substitute who would prove their weight in gold, taking the lead less than 5 minutes into the second half. Luis Boa Morte fired a stunning strike from around 25 yards out, sending the ball soaring past Roy Carroll’s right hand side and into the back of the net.

Rangers once again rallied themselves and levelled shortly after Boa Morte’s wonder strike, levelling the scores through Kris Boyd. The match was as competitive as the scoreline suggested, leaving room for one of the many famous names on the pitch to take the show.

That name would be Robin van Persie who, by coordinating the World XI’s attacks from a deeper-held No10 position brilliantly all night, had already impressed. His second addition to the scoresheet, and the decisive goal of the game, came with just 15 minutes to go.

The former Manchester United striker may have been a little disappointed that it wasn’t the prettiest way to win the game, but win them the game it did. An neat attempt from Jermaine Pennant in the corner of the Rangers box glanced off of the post, having already beaten Carroll.

The ball fell straight to van Persie at the far post, who had to do little other than tap the ball into the vacant corner of the net. Both sides looked visibly worn in the latter stages of the game, and the World XI managed to hand on to the lead that RVP had snagged them.

The match ended 4-3 in favour of the World XI, with van Persie’s contributions standing out in a match that was full of goals and entertainment. Watch the highlights below!