Arjen Robben and Robin van Persie have been appointed national knights of the KNVB, the Netherlands football association’s highest honour.
Robben and Van Persie are two of the Netherlands’ greatest players of the 21st Century, with the former perhaps the greatest given the role he played in his nation’s runs to the final and semi-final at the 2010 and 2014 World Cups respectively.
The two were a part of the Dutch golden generation that also included Wesley Sneijder, Rafael van der Vaart, Dirk Kuyt and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar.
Sneijder was made a national knight when he retired four years ago, and his two former team-mates have been awarded the honour too.
“Both Robin van Persie and Arjen Robben have represented Dutch football in a characteristic way throughout their career,” said Marianne van Leeuwen, director of professional football at the KNVB.
“Not only because of the wonderful moments they have given football, but also because of the way in which they – each in their own way – have managed to leave their mark on sporting achievements.
“Moreover, they have been defining players for the Oranje squad for a long period of time, as a result of which an entire generation has grown up with them as football heroes.”