The Netherlands introduced ‘Total Football’, but kick and rush will do for Arjen Robben if it lands the Oranje the World Cup.
It rarely happens, but for once the Dutch are not going into a big match with a reputation as the better footballing team.
Instead, European Champions Spain get that tag ahead of Sunday’s World Cup final in Johannesburg.
The Netherlands’ best chance of victory might be to employ spoiling tactics. And that might be exactly what they do, says Robben. “I would much prefer to win a very ugly game than lose a beautiful one,” said Robben. “We can still play attractive football but we can always rely on our good organisation as well. If you are organised, you know one goal could be enough, which has been the case so far. The point is, we are in a World Cup final. From now on how you actually play no longer matters.
Of course, the intent is there to play good football but the result is far more important. We have heard enough of talk about how our football is very nice. But it gets you nowhere. We want to achieve something.”
However Sunday’s showpiece event is hardly a pub side against Spain’s soccer aristocrats – Robben, along with the likes of Robin van Persie and Wesley Sneijder, have the silky skills to match anyone in La Furia Roja’s starting line up.