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Dutch keeper Cillessen hoping to emulate heroes

The Ajax stopper started all three of his country's pre-tournament friendlies, and cannot wait to follow in the footsteps of his idols - compatriot Edwin van der Sar and legendary German keeper Oliver Kahn.

"When you combine those two (Kahn and Van der Sar), you get the best goalkeeper in the world," Cillessen told Dutch newspaper AD.

"As a keeper Van der Sar was, in my eyes, the best. I admired him for his class and Kahn for his attitude and perception.

"In character I am more like Edwin, but there is also a bit of Kahn in me, just not as extreme as he was."

Cillessen played just once in the Netherlands' World Cup qualifying campaign, but is expected to start against world champions Spain in Friday's re-run of the 2010 tournament final. 

The 25-year-old believes he has developed over the last 12 months but knows he needs to continue to improve if he wants to retain the number one jersey.

"I have become more mature," he added. "There is less of an emotional response when it goes bad.

"But I cannot relax or train badly - I must do what I always do because that is why I was selected."