Netherlands legend Johan Cruyff believes that if Del Bosque’s men play to their potential they will become world champions.
Although the 63-year-old guided Netherlands to the World Cup final in 1974 as a player, he spent over a decade with Spanish giants Barcelona both as player and coach.
Credited with nurturing and developing Barca’s current lauded attacking brand of football, Cruyff is well aware of the qualities the European champions possess, given that seven of the starting eleven against Germany in the semi-final play for the Nou Camp club.
And whilst Cruyff acknowledges the Dutch also have talented players, he believes that if Spain are allowed to impose their game on them there can only be one winner.
“Spain have always had good footballers and never a team, but now they have one,” said Cruyff. They have worked very well in the last few years and if they get into their rhythm, they should win. Normally Spain play better (than the Netherlands), but that doesn’t mean they will win. Holland is a very balanced team, they know their strengths and their weaknesses, and up until now at this World Cup they have always been able to make their strengths shine through. They have two or three players playing at an exceptional level at the World Cup and the team’s level has risen enormously.”