The FIFA World Cup started in South Africa on June 11, as the teams were ranked according to their probability of winning the tournament.
Brazil got the top ranking, after winning the Confederations Cup, while Spain got the second and Portugal the third spot.
However, Portugal met its early demise, as they finished second in their group, below Brazil, to be eliminated by the Spanish in the next round.
The Netherlands, however, got the fourth place, and thus were the fourth favourites to win the World Cup.
Despite being in the top four, Netherlands was not tipped to be the eventual finalists of the World Cup.
Instead, teams like England, Argentina and Germany had the backing of the critics, as the Dutch were almost sidelined, despite the fact that they came into the World Cup after an impressive round of warm-up matches.
However, the Dutch proved their critics wrong by beating the World No. 1, Brazil. The Dutch are also the only team in the World Cup who have won all their fixtures and always looked comfortable.
They even beat the odds, especially against Brazil, when they were lagging behind in terms of performance as well as one goal.
Historically,the Dutch have produced one of the greatest football players of all time and have been a dominating force in world football for the past four decades, but their past result don't show their capabilities.
With only one Euro and no World Cup, though they made it to the World Cup finals twice and were the bridesmaid and were eventually prettier then the bride, but on both occasions, they failed to do the final signature on the register.
Why have they been so successful, going 6-0 en route to a date in the final against the equally enigmatic Spanish? Remember, they are the same Dutch side which were eliminated in the Round of 16 at the 2006 World Cup.
Here are the reasons they have been so successful:
Rejection of "TOTAL FOOTBALL"
The Dutch gave the world Total Football and successfully reached two World Cup Finals and also won the Euro Cup in 1988, but it failed to deliver them the World Cup.
So this time around, they have taken a deliberate route and instead of playing beautiful football, they are trying to play winning football and that seems to help.
More Scoring Options
In this World Cup, the Netherlands have not being depending on any one player to score goals. Every one from Robin to Snejider to Robben seems to be in the score sheet.
Humility is something you don't expect from the Dutch side. They are the same side about which current coach Bert Van Marwijk said in the past showed "arrogance" after big victories instead of looking toward the next game, but his time things look different.
At the beginning there seemed to be a problem between Parsie and Snejider, especially after in Euro 2008 in Quater-Final match against Russia, the dutch had a free-kick that Sneijder thought was assigned to him. Van Persie had other ideas, tried a shot, and missed.
One misjudged swipe of that left foot was to have long-lasting repercussions. Four months later, Sneijder popped up in the Dutch newspaper Het Parool complaining that Van Persie had "broken agreements" and saying that he wanted to talk to him about it. "From the first practice game, I've been designated as the man who takes free-kicks – no-one else is supposed to touch the ball."
Van Persie's response was delivered through the pages of Algemeen Dagblad. "I expected more class from Wesley," he said. "And besides, it's absolute nonsense that he's the only one who can take free-kicks." The Arsenal striker said he would have been willing to talk to Sneijder in private, but not now the matter had been made public. "I'm flabbergasted by the way Wesley has acted. Must the whole country take part in a meeting between Sneijder and Van Persie?" , but now all seems to be good.
Luck is a very important factor,and we must admit to the fact that dutch have been lucky throughout this World Cup,as against Brazil, they got the tying goal from a deflection off the head of a Brasil. Against Uruguay, Wesley Sneijder's go-ahead goal appeared to come with Robin Van Persie in an offside position.
While he was perhaps not most fans' first choice to lead the Oranje, a 100% record in the World Cup has seen Van Marwijk's stock rise considerably. He says"I love attacking football. But I also like winning." Tactically,Van Marwijk says he does not "believe in systems" and, with players like Robin van Persie, Arjen Robben, Dirk Kuyt and Wesley Sneijder involved, he looks for plenty of interchange between midfield and attack - a nod to the country's total football tradition. He generally likes to have four in defence and two holding midfielders, leaving something approaching a 4-2-3-1 formation.Which has helped a lot.
Opposing nations can still apply the offensive pressure that defeated the Dutch previously, but they will have to pass the hard elbows and vicious tackling of Van Bommel and De Jong.
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