By Chris Wright
Dutch footballing icon Johan Cruyff has lambasted the current Holland side’s regression to ‘anti-football’ tactics during their World Cup final defeat to Spain.
Cruyff, who was a central figure in Holland’s pioneering totaal voetbal ethos during the 1970’s, has admitted that he was saddened to see the thuggish methods employed by Bert Van Marwijk‘s side on Sunday night.
Speaking to El Periodico, the 63-year-old said;
“Thursday they asked me from Holland ‘Can we play like Inter? Can we stop Spain in the same way Jose Mourinho eliminated Barcelona [in the Champions League final]?
I said no, no way at all. I said no, not because I hate this style – I said no because I thought that my country wouldn’t dare to and would never renounce their style. I said no because, without having great players like those of the past, the team has its own style.
I was wrong. Of course I’m not hanging all 11 of them by the same rope, but almost. They didn’t want the ball.
And regrettably, sadly, they played very dirty. So much so that they should have been down to nine immediately, then they made two (such) ugly and hard tackles that even I felt the damage.”
Jopie then summed up his disapproval in no uncertain terms;
“It hurts me that I was wrong in my disagreement, and that instead Holland chose an ugly path to aim for the title.
This ugly, vulgar, hard, hermetic, hardly eye-catching, hardly football style, yes it served the Dutch to unsettle Spain. If with this they got satisfaction, fine, but they ended up losing.
They were playing anti-football.”
Whatever could old Cruyffie be talking about?
Ah…yeah, pretty disgusting wasn’t it?