Robin van Persie Netherlands
The Netherlands' Robin van Persie flying toward the net and scoring in the 43rd minute to tie Spain 1-1 in Group B play of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. Reuters

Robin van Persie earned the nickname "Flying Dutchman" on Friday, when he scored the Netherlands' first goal against Spain in the third match of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

The striker stunned supporters meeting a long forward pass from defender Daley Blind with an acrobatic header that improbably found the back of the net right before the first half drew to a close. Watch the acrobatic goal below:

It was perhaps the best goal of the new World Cup, replayed over and over on TV screens from Australia to Austria, and it showed casual fans the talent that that Dutch have known for years. Former Netherlands striker and current ESPN studio analyst Ruud van Nistelrooy called the goal "genius" during the halftime break. As if that wasn't enough, Van Persie ended up scoring another goal before the match ended.

As captain of the Dutch national team, van Persie is one of the Netherlands' most beloved players, and he plays for Manchester United in the English Premier League when he's not with his national squad.

A 30-year-old leader, van Persie was born in Rotterdam on Aug. 6, 1983. In the intervening years he's built quite a career, serving eight years on Arsenal before he went to ManU in 2012.

A prodigious scorer, he's passed the 200 mark in his EPL career, and has made more than 40 in his time with the Netherlands. He's only the fourth Dutchman to score four goals in the EPL's top division.

This year's World Cup in Brazil is his third. He scored his first international goal for the Netherlands in the 2006 World Cup. During this year's FIFA World Cup qualifiers, he became the Netherlands' all-time- highest scorer during the team's 8-1 trouncing of Hungary. He has long been a key figure for both ManU and the Netherlands, but has had injury trouble in recent years.

Van Persie has been known for a series of personal problems off the pitch, including being exposed for being unfaithful to his wife, Bouchra Elbali, though the two remain together today. The story centered around his having had sex with beauty queen Sandra Krijgsman. He was initially arrested in June 2005 on suspicion that he had raped Krijgsman, but the charges were dropped.