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As the Netherlands exit Euro 2012 without a point, their hopes of redemption at the World Cup in Brazil two years from now might well come to rest on 21-year-old Luciano Narsingh, a lanky winger of Indian descent.
Narsingh did not get a game during his team's dismal Euro campaign, but so highly is he rated that former Dutch international Jan Mulder was among the voices clamouring for his inclusion on the right wing, a position at which the celebrated Arjen Robben often plays, for Sunday's do-or-die game against Portugal.
The Netherlands lost 1-2.
"Narsingh should be played on the right as he dribbles well and he will be the perfect player for the Dutch on the right side of the field," Mulder had told the local media.
Narsingh's grandparents were immigrant workers from Andhra Pradesh who toiled at plantations in Suriname, a former Dutch colony. He is currently based in Heerenveen in north-east Holland.
Four months ago, Dutch coach Bert Van Marwijk included Narsingh in the Dutch national side, a move that was widely seen as the first step towards an eventual place in the team's starting line-up.
Narsingh debuted in a friendly game against Bayern Munich, and immediately confirmed his coach's faith in him by scoring a goal.
If seasoned coaches in the Netherlands are to be believed, Narsingh is definitely a part of the future of football in the country.
Ron Jans, his former coach at SC Heerenveen, the club Narsingh plays for, believes Narsingh has the talent to match the best in Holland. "Luciano is one of the quickest players to have ever played in Holland, his speed is simply phenomenal. His vision is absolutely incredible, he can spot the smallest openings and pick out runs of the other forwards and execute passes with pin-point precision" Jans said. Statistics show that Narsingh, in addition to scoring goals, is capable of setting them up.
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