“Total Football” purveyor Johan Cruyff picked Spain to win yesterday’s World Cup final in Johannesburg, but he’s hardly in glowing mood over the Netherlands’ 1-0 defeat following a 109th minute strike from AndrÃ©s Iniesta. “”It hurts me that Holland chose an ugly path to aim for the title,” bemoaned Cruyff, (as quoted by the BBC). Hey, not as much as it hurt Xabi Alonso.
“Sadly, they played very dirty,” Cruyff told Spanish newspaper El Periodico.
“This ugly, vulgar, hard, hermetic, hardly eye-catching, hardly football style… If with this they got satisfaction, fine, but they lost.”
Cruyff, along with many others, believed Mark van Bommel and Nigel de Jong were lucky not to be sent off before half-time.
“They should have been down to nine immediately, then they made two [such] ugly and hard tackles that even I felt the damage,” said the 63-year-old Cruyff.
On Thursday they asked me from Holland ‘Can we play like Inter? Can we stop Spain in the same way Mourinho eliminated Barca?’
“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.”