THE ORANJE AND THEIR TOTAL FOOTBALL PHILOSOPHY
The Oranje, as the Dutch National Team is known, has been one of football power houses of Europe, and by extension the world.
Following their two back to back losses in the final of the 1974 and 1978 World Cups, and, coincidentally to host nations; Germany and Argentina- the Dutch are known as masters of ‘total football’ which literally means totaalvoetbal in Dutch.
In fact, total football is an attacking style of play in which every outfield player is able to play in any position as required during the course of a game.
It was made famous by the Netherlands national football team in the 1974 World Cup.
Holland’s 1974 World Cup Squad was loaded with talent and they breezed their way through the final. With Super and exciting stars as Johan Cruff, Ruud Geels, Arie Han, Wim Van Hanegem and many others, they held the world spell bound with their intricate football philosophy – total football.
Little wonder with these arrays of stars they deservedly qualified and played in two successive finals against host nations of the 1974 and 1978 world cups-West Germany and Argentina. Indeed, at the time its matter most, they succumbed and capitulated in theses finals. But, they have however; left an indelible impression of a unique style of football that did stood the test of time.
More so, there is no gain saying the fact that the oranje are one of the perennial under achievers in world football, and of course Dutch football academies and club sides has served as the supply hub for players’ exports to big European club sides.
Furthermore, one interesting fact that should be noted is that, the oranje 3-1 defeat in the 1978 World Cup Final, handed the Albiceleste their first World Cup title. Coincidentally, their 1-0 defeat by Spain in the 2010 world cup final in South Africa, also gave the La Furia Roja their first and only world cup triumph. In other words, they have gotten to the final thrice and capitulated in all.
Whilst, many considered the 1974 and 1978 Netherland World Cup Squads as the all-time greatest, I personally have a biased passion for the 1998 World Cup Squad that had wonderful stars like; Edwin Van Der Sar, Patrick Kluivert, Edgar Davids, De Boer Brothers, Frank and Ronald, Clarence Seedorf and many others. I consider this set, the greatest generation of Dutch footballer’s that were at the mercy of winning the 1998 World Cup, but exuberant play and Prolifigacy in front of goal cost them a place in the final to which they were subdued by the samba boys of Brazil in the Semi-final.
Interestingly, the two semi-final opponents that the oranje have lost to in their chequered World Cup history are South American opponents; Brazil and Argentina. In the 1998 World Cup, the Selecao of Brazil edged out the oranje 4-2 on penalties after regulation time ended 1-1. The oranje also lost 4-2 on penalties in the Semi-final of the 2014 World Cup to Argentina after 120 Minutes of football ended in stalemate.
By and large, the Dutch National Team have had their own fair share of world cup heartbreaks, but what remains to be seen is the global impact they’ve had with a Scintillating and exhilarating brand of football called total football.
Nevertheless, they might have faltered and capitulated when it matter most in various world cup finals, they still remain a global force in football, and, perhaps one of football power houses that is yet to lift the world cup.