2010: Dutch only came to win

2010-07-02 19:03

Holland is not here just to take part at the 2010 Fifa World Cup,

but to win the tournament.

These strong and ambitious words were uttered by coach Bert van

Marwijk following his team’s dramatic comeback from a goal down to defeat

five-time world champions Brazil.

“When I was appointed coach four years ago, I told the Dutch

Football Association that I did not want to come to South Africa just to take

part in the World Cup but to win the tournament,” he said.

Marwijk, who saw his players come from a Robinho 10th minute strike

to claim a 2-1 victory against the tournament favourites, said he told his

players at half time to be confident, go back to the field and play their own


“Playing as we did today does not occur overnight. It is four years

of hard work where we instilled discipline and self-confidence on the players,”

he said.

The coach would not be drawn on whether this team was on the same

par as that famous 1974 Johan Cruyff-led squad, only saying: “I’ve heard that

that team also beat Brazil. But it’s too early to say, we have two more games to

play before we can win the tournament.”

Marwijk’s Brazilian counterpart, Dunga, said: “We are all extremely

sad and disappointed. We didn’t expect this result.”

He conceded that his team played better football in the first 45

minutes but “could not get their rhythm back in the second half. They could not

maintain the same level of concentration and this is very important in the game

of football.”

Dunga will now face the Brazilian “firing squad” – their

uncompromising supporters who always expect nothing less than their team

bringing home the bacon.

“We have failed to achieve our main objective which was to be world

champions,” Dunga said.

And that might just have been his epitaph as he could only take the

team to where one Carlos Alberto Parreira did at the previous tournament in

Germany in 2006 when they were knocked out by France in the


The unforgiving Samba-dancing Brazilian public will now remind him

of what they have always regarded as a blunder, the exclusion of Ronadinho and

the young Santos striker, Neymar.

Man of the match, Wesley Sneijder, gave credit to his teammates

saying it was a team effort.

“Credit goes to the entire team,” he said. “We said at half time

that we must play the next 45 minutes as if it was the last of the tournament

and it paid off.”

The player said on their performance, they would have beaten any

team but it was even more special that that team happened to be Brazil.

“I’m glad that we showed the entire world an exciting match. The

first half was difficult for us as we were trailing 1-0 but our goalkeeper

(Maarten Stekelenburg) kept us in the game with that save from Kaká,” he

admitted. “The feeling of beating Brazil, one of the best teams in this

tournament and scoring two goals against one of the toughest defences in the

world, is just fantastic.”

Neutrals will talk about this game for years to come as it was a

thrill-a-minute. Brazilians would like to forget it as fast as possible while

the Dutch would kill anyone trying to wake them up from this dream.

When they open their eyes tomorrow, reality will still be that

indeed they are a mere 180 minutes away from glory.

Now there is a dream!

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