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11 Mar, 2020 18:57

‘What a goal!’ Van Persie hails Russian footballer after he scores PERFECT recreation of Dutchman’s iconic World Cup goal (VIDEO)

‘What a goal!’ Van Persie hails Russian footballer after he scores PERFECT recreation of Dutchman’s iconic World Cup goal (VIDEO)

As praise for headed goals goes it doesn’t come much higher than from the man behind one of most iconic efforts of all time – but that’s what one little-known Russian footballer has received from Dutch legend Robin van Persie.

Van Persie famously scored a ridiculous headed goal for his country against Spain at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, when the flying Dutchman met a cross from Daley Blind, athletically looping a header from 15 yards out over Spain ‘keeper Iker Casillas and into the net.

The strike – which was part of the Netherlands’ stunning 5-1 win as they exacted a modicum of revenge for their World Cup final defeat four years previously – was widely hailed as the greatest headed goal ever seen at the tournament.

But Russian second-tier player Dmitry Barkov proved he’s just as nifty with his head when he produced a like-for-like effort for his team Khimki in their 3-0 win earlier this week.

In fact, Barkov appeared to be even further out than Van Persie when he looped a header in to put his team in front against Tom Tomsk on the stroke of half-time.

The stunning effort was shared online by the Russian FNL social media account and was then picked up elsewhere – coming to the attention of Van Persie himself.

“Is that you?” wrote football Twitter account 433, tagging the former Manchester United star.

Van Persie replied: “Wasn’t me flying around again but what a goal.”

Whatever happens in 27-year-old Barkov's career from now on, he'll at least be able to dine out on the story of how he garnered praise from one of the greatest marksmen to grace the game.