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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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Johan Cruyff hails Dirk Kuyt

Monday, 5 July 2010

In his weekly column in Dutch daily De Telegraaf Johan Cruyff has hailed Liverpool midfielder Dirk Kuyt. "He has developed into one of the most valuable players of this Dutch team."

Cruyff says it's been a World Cup full of surprises. "I had my doubts about the Germans, but they have all vanished after their game against the Argentineans. They way they took them on was impressive. I have come to understand that their manager Joachim Löw has adapted elements of the Dutch school in his policy, and that was clearly visible against Argentina."

The former Ajax and Barcelona star went on to say that he didn't understand some of the choices that were made by the Argentinean staff. "Why did they leave Esteban Cambiasso and Javier Zanetti at home? Cambiasso would have been perfect for servicing Messi, and Zanetti is great for keeping a team together. Argentina were great individually, but not as a team."

Cruyff said he had been on the edge of his seat during Holland's game against Brazil. "At first the Dutch were impressed with their opponents, but as ever so often you need a setback to be woken up. That happened after they opened the score, and it was an achievement that team didn't break at that stage. They were a bit lucky that the best goal keeper of the tournament made the first mistake I have ever seen of him. Holland were then mentally strong enough to push through."

Cruyff hailed especially Dirk Kuyt: "It's great to see how he has developed into one of the most valuable players. Coming up to the tournament I had my doubts about him, but he has been great from the opening game against Denmark. And just look at what he has done since. He started wide-right, after that he played center forward and against Brazil he made sure on the left not only that Maicon was kept quiet, but he also prepared the winning goal. He's worth his weight in gold for your team."

Cruyff said he hopes Holland will take Spain's performance against Paraguay as an example on how not to approach the game against Uruguay. "After they knocked out Portugal they thought that they had overcome the biggest hurdle. They hadn't; In the end they were fortunate it all went well, but let Spain-Paraguay be a warning for Holland. We are in a similar situation. After Brazil Uruguay may seem a little easier, but Spain has taught us how dangerous that is."

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