Holland legend Johan Cruyff has launched a scathing attack on the Dutch team's performance on Sunday night, slamming their "dirty" tactics and their style of "anti-football".
Cruyff was at the heart of the Holland team that earned a reputation of playing 'Total Football' in the 1970s, and the pioneer of the style that earned the Dutch the reputation of being a joy to watch. The current Holland team displayed a type of football that was the antithesis of that on Sunday night, as they lost 1-0 to Spain in the World Cup final.
"Thursday they asked me from Holland 'Can we play like Inter? Can we stop Spain in the same way Mourinho eliminated Barca?'" Cruyff told El Periodico, in reference to the way Inter Milan defended their way to a Champions League semi-final victory over Barcelona.
"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.
"It hurts me that I was wrong in my disagreement 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."
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