Quite a few Netherlands players have caught the eye during the FIFA U-17 World Championship Peru 2005, but there is one guy they all look up to out here.

No, it is not the tall, imposing figure of their outstanding goalkeeper Tim Krul. Nor is it the eye-catching talent of striker Diego Biseswar that draws maximum respect from those around him.

The player who carries the most authority with his team-mates when he walks around their hotel headquarters is, naturally enough, the Holland captain Dirk Marcellis, who has enjoyed a quiet, but efficient start to the tournament.

Marcellis, who has now played 22 times for the Dutch U-17 team, is in fact their record caps holder, breaking the previous mark set by none other than SV Hamburg's Holland international midfielder Rafael van der Vaart.

The PSV Eindhoven defender is, however, modesty itself when he is congratulated about this particular honour. Marcellis told FIFA.com: "To be honest, the record doesn't mean that much to me. It's nice to have it, but the important thing is what happens to the team, not my own achievements.

"I don't feel extra pressure with being the captain, but it's a big responsibility for sure. In a tournament like this, there is always pressure though. It's very exciting to take part and there's certainly nothing bigger to be involved in at our age level. It's beautiful."

Unity holds they key for Dutch
The Netherlands have a tough job to qualify for the quarter-finals, knowing they probably have to beat rampant Gambia in their last Group D game to progress to the knock-out phase, but Marcellis believes their unity could be the factor that pulls them through.

He said: "We have grown together as a team, particularly during the qualifiers. It was sometimes down to the very last moments of the match when we got the goals we needed, which shows our mental strength I think. Against Germany we scored twice in the last five minutes and that was so important for us."

As for personal goals, Marcellis adds: "PSV is the team I've always supported growing up, so it's great to play for them. Jaap Stam is my favourite player and I love to watch him in action and learn things from him. My ambition at the moment is to do well with the U-17 team here of course, but I also want to get into the PSV first team. I think I have a good chance, but you never know in football.

"Making the Netherlands national team in the future is also something I am aiming for and one day I would also like to play for Barcelona, which I think is probably the dream of every Dutch player because of the strong connections between my country and the club."

Netherlands coach Ruud Kaiser rates him highly and says of Marcellis: "He is very good in one on one situations. He's tactically strong and without a doubt my captain."

Will Marcellis have the powers of motivation to lead his team into the last eight? Only time will tell, but there are no doubts that he will give everything to the cause in Lima on Friday.