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"The intellectualisation
of football has
always foundered
on a simple problem-
-the players. Doing
all your most
rewarding thinking
with your feet seems
to dull the philo-
sophical impulse.
Unless, of course,
you are Dutch.
According to legend,
Europeans played
a moronic, muscular
version of the world's
game, until Holland
proclaimed its vision
of total football in the
1974 World Cup,
and enlightenment
dawned."

From:
Brilliant Orange: The Neurotic Genius of Dutch Football
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UEFA Euro 2012 Poland & Ukraine
Group E - Qualifications

Cruyff: "My eyes hurt from the way Oranje played"

30 August 2010

Johan Cruyff recognizes the fact that Holland's result based football went a long way (to the final) during the World Cup in South Africa, but he also admitted that his eyes hurt from the way Holland played.

Cruyff said so in his weekly column in Dutch tabloid De Telegraaf. He also said he was happy that Atletico Madrid beat Inter Milan in Friday's Supercup game.

"For the sake of football I was happy with Atletico's victory, a team that plays with three forwards, whereas Inter only played with one. And because their work rate wasn't a 100% this time Wesley Sneijder was neutralized by his own team mates. He only got a few balls and then a player like him isn't much use. I hope that Atletico's victory and Spain winning the World Cup will show people that an offensive style pays of better in the end."

Cruyff is anxious to see whether the Dutch national team will continue the same way or whether Bert van Marwijk will opt for a different style. "The results may have been just fine, but my eyes hurt from the way they played. I believe a good side must be able to play the ball around based on good position play. But that will be a problem for them as long as they play two holding midfielders and a 'number 10'."

Balance
"That way you're always one man short building up. When you play one holding midfielder and two playmakers you're stronger going forward but defensively as well, because everyone has his back covered. Ofcourse I know that 99 out of a 100 sides play two holding midfielders these days, but I will always remain an idealist who is convinced that other tactical choices and more stylish football can get you as far or even further. Fortunately the Spanish teams are proving that that's indeed how it works."

"And that is why I think its a good sign that Hedwiges Maduro is part of the team again. That lad has developed really well with one of the strongest sides in the Spanish league. He's strong on the air, well skilled and he can defend. With him in the squad you are able to build up better from behind. I am looking forward to it."

Euro 2012 campaign - Results, schedule, standings

Holland at European Championships

All time European Championships ranking

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