World Cup: Can the Dutch Revolution Beat The Best Team in the World?
For the first time in 32 years, the Dutch finally have the chance to make amends for the disappointing back-to-back losses in the finals of both the 1974 and 1978 World Cup, and in an unprecedented manner. Can they achieve that feat? That is the tricky part, as it remains to be seen whether the Dutch can finally win a World Cup final, and against the best team in the world no less.
The main reason this World Cup victory would be considered unprecedented isn't because Holland will be World Champions for the first time in their history, many teams won it for the first time before (seven to be exact), but for the magnificent journey that took them to their destination.
Holland have the chance to make it the perfect World Cup campaign for a nation in the history of football, quite literally.
Holland have been perfect thus far in their World Cup campaign, winning every game possible in both qualification and the tournament thus far, they are about to face the biggest test of all. The best team on the planet.
Many people considered it quaint at first, the thought of Oranje making it all the way to the World Cup final, but some how the Dutch dug deep and were able to make it this far, indeed they had it easy with their games (barring Brazil), and they were lucky in some refereeing decisions. But then again which team that won the World Cup didn't have them? Certainly not the Italians or the Argentine, nor the other teams as well.
Should Oranje win the World Cup, they will be able to be the first "Perfect" team in World Cup history, they'll be the first European nation to win the World Cup outside of Europe, van Marwijk will be a legend, not losing or drawing a single game in the World Cup, Sneijder will most likely win the Ballon D'or, van Bronkhorst will retire in the most prestigious way possible as a world champion, and the Dutch will finally have their names where it rightfully belongs. On top.
That's not to say that Spain don't have incentives on their side, they do.
Should Spain win the final, they will have walked in West Germany and France's footsteps, and be recorded as the third team to hold both the European and World Cup titles (Although the French won the World Cup before the European Cup), that along would put them as one of the best sides in history, and write them as a "Golden Generation" no less than that of France's.
Should the Netherlands lose, they will have the saddest record a nation can achieve in the World Cup, three finals and not a single trophy, a nation getting heart-broken for the third time, and the chance to surpass the legendary 1974 generation gone to dust.
Spain are easily the favorites, they are playing against a team that has a back-line consisting of players playing at Eredivise, and a player playing for Everton, they also have a goal keeper who is not only playing in the Eredivise, but isn't even the first team choice for his team (Although Stekelenburg did make some marvelous saves that took Holland this far).
The Dutch have always been in the "All or nothing" category, and have always lost when it mattered the most. Always finishing as second in the final.
Spain are the favorites, indeed. But make no mistake, the Spaniards are fallible, and Holland can only emerge victorious if they pay respect to their record in this tournament and emulate it. They must become perfect themselves.
The Dutch players must show no insipid behavior, they need to defend with precision, and attack with valor, pay no heed to danger, yet respect it. This is no longer a team trying to go as far as possible, this is a team trying to go all the way, and they must play like one, for they are already such a team.
During the encounter, Holland must demonstrate conscientiousness, circumspection, and the most important of all, perseverance.
To analyze the weaknesses of each team, it would be easy to conclude that Holland has a few more than the Spaniards. However, the counter attack can prove to be Holland's biggest ally in this game, and seeing how that is Holland's biggest strength, the Dutch do have a chance of upsetting the European Champions. Sneijder's long passes can make a world of difference in this game, and so can Xabi Alosno's for Spain.
Also, Robben will need to at his best, along with van Bommel, the thought of them doing a "Thierry Henry" and losing both the Champions League final and World Cup final in the same year would be heart-braking.
Robben needs to do his best to out-play Capdevilla, an aging yet experienced and wise footballer, who will have to be at his best to be able to keep up with the pace and technique of an on-form Arjen Robben.
This battle in particular could prove important during the course of the final, expect Capdevilla to have plenty of help from another teammates during the game, Robben will be marked.
When it comes to stopping Spain's main threats, Villa and Xavi are the ones to watch out for the most.
Xavi, love him or hate him, has the ability to change an entire game in a single moment, even if his team is completely off-form and diffident, something which has been displayed many times with Spain and Barcelona during this season.
Mark van Bommel must contain him, and that is usually unlikely, but if van Bommel can surpass the performance displayed by him when Barcelona taught Bayern a lesson, he might be able to keep Xavi quiet with his crazy tackles, although people will be hoping he doesn't kill someone out there.
Meanwhile, David Villa is having the best form of his career, which came at the best time imaginable, no one can even begin to imagine what Heitinga, Mathijsen and Stekelenburg will do to keep this one shut, they will have to display a stunning performance to control him.
In conclusion, Holland must show respect to the Spaniards, and must not hesitate in their actions, show no signs of impudence and above all, have faith in their abilities.
May the best team win, and may they both keep in mind a very important lesson;
History remembers the victor.
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