Robbie Rensenbrink, Who Almost Won 1978 World Cup, Dies at 72

Brussels, Jan 26 (AFP) Robbie Rensenbrink, who famously came within a goalpost's width of winning the 1978 World Cup for the Netherlands, has died at the age of 72, former teammate Jan Mulder told the Belga news agency.

Rensenbrink, who had been fighting progressive muscular atrophy for a number of years, played in the famous Dutch team which lost the 1974 World Cup final 2-1 to West Germany and the 1978 decider against Argentina four years later.

He came agonisingly close to settling the final in Buenos Aires when, with just 30 seconds left and the teams level at 1-1, Dutch captain Ruud Krol freed Rensenbrink on goal.

However, his shot from a narrow angle came off the post and was cleared. Argentina then scored twice in extra-time for a 3-1 victory.

In his club career, Rensenbrink made his name at Belgian giants Anderlecht where he won league titles in 1972 and 1974 as well as four Belgian Cups in 1972, 1973, 1975 and 1976.

He also played in the teams which won the European Cup Winners Cup in 1976 ad 1978. AFP

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