The Dutch Oranje Turning Heads at Euro

halvar dilContributor IJune 11, 2008

In 1960 a Dutch soccer coach developed the idea of total football. Total football is the concept of every player on the team being able to play every position.

The Dutch also known as the Oranje or orange played using this tactic throughout the 80's leading them to the 1988 Euro victory. Great and all, yet there has been a serious drought in Dutch football. This 1988 championship trophy is the only trophy the Dutch have brought back to their loyal orange colored fans in their history.

With little hope the Dutch team travelled to Switzerland were they were set to play Italy the world champions and the runners up France in a one week span.

Hopes in the little orange country were down and when radio DJ's asked callers what they thought the outcome of the Holland-Italy match-up would be, most callers actually replied that their bet was on a defeat!

What great soccer nation counts on their own team to lose?! None but then again the Dutch are pessimists when it comes to their football.

Yet the entire country was sitting in front of the TV the ninth of June at 8:45 in the evening local time. Going out into the streets of Amsterdam at this time you could hear a pin drop in the red light district...

Maybe the only time you could hear a pin drop in these crowded always living streets of Amsterdam. Yes the Dutch take their football seriously!

It soon appeared that the Orange was well represented in the Swiss capital with the stadium covered in this bright color!

It also became clear that the Dutch national team meant business, when Kuyt played a great pass to the Dutch legend striker Ruud Van Nistelrooy who got touched by the Italian GK Buffon, but did not fall down to try and claim a penalty.

However, this did not seem a costly missed opportunity as a few minutes later Van Nistelrooy did find the back of the net on a controversial goal where one of the Italian players was lying behind the goal causing the goal to count and offside not being called.

Italy nearly struck back with a header but Giovanni Van Bronckhorst one of the few Dutch players to play for a Dutch team (Feyenoord) was able to take it off the goal line, he then managed to open up the left flank and play a great high cross to Dirk Kuyt who headed it back for Wesley Sneijder who finished with a great shot to the near post beating one of the worlds best goalies in Gigi Buffon.

Van Bronckhorst later added the 3-0 with a header on another assist by Dirk Kuyt the Liverpool player.


The loyal Oranje supporters were in shock! Could it be? Was this actually happening?

Was their team beating Italy the reigning world champions 3-0! The worst defeat in the history of Italy at the European Championships.

Yes it was true and a great deal thanks to Giovanni Van Bronckhorst who is a left back and managed to take a away a goal then assist and score a goal.

I think the Dutch managed to play the complete football they have been looking for the past 20 years...