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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

Sneijder: "Don't tinker with it"

6 September 2010

Wesley Sneijder was one of the main players for Holland during the World Cup in South Africa. But he can charge himself up for games against San Marino and Finland as well. Turning the switch, he calls it. "That's how it is in life. We have a new goal now. We can't just replay the World Cup."

It's a big contrast, playing against San Marino and Finland only two months after the World Cup. But Sneijder, Holland's top goal scorer with five goals during the tournament, says it's no effort at all. "That's how it goes. That's the life of a football player. It's just like any regular job. You have a goal in a year, and then you go on holiday with your family. You come back and you set a new goal. We can not replay that tournament in South Africa. We have to look forward. It's always good to be back with this team again."

Mission
That looking forward is to the European Championships in Poland and Ukraine in the summer of 2012. The first qualifying game in a group that with Hungary, Sweden and Moldavia as well, was won on Friday. San Marino was beat 0-5.

On Tuesday it's Finland in Rotterdam. "It's another mission. Just like we did in the previous qualification campaign we will try not to lose a single game. That's our aim. We need total concentration, like we managed against San Marino."

No tinkering
Since the World Cup people have been calling for a more offensive Dutch team, for instance with Van der Vaart instead of De Jong, like in the second half against San Marino and in parts of the World Cup. It's argued that it ads more 'football' to the team. Sneijder doesn't agree on that. "I think what the coach is doing is right, each time. He interfered after 45 minutes by putting on a more offensive midfielder. We have worked towards the World Cup with this formation. Two holding midfielders and one playmaker. You mustn't interrupt that. Don't tinker with it. This is our system and our quality. Of course you can adapt a bit in individual matches, depending on how it develops. But the core structure stands."

Euro 2012 campaign - Results, schedule, standings

Holland at European Championships

All time European Championships ranking

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