Netherlands, the inventor of the “total football” have no longer command over their own style of football. Most of the top club coaches are embracing their style and achieving success, whereas Netherlands National Football Team (KNVB) is on downward spiral.
The Dutch mostly renowned for their ‘total football’ a term coined by then national team head coach Rinus Michels. They were at peak in 1970’s and as they end up runners-up in two World Cup finals in the same decade. They might not have won anything substantial, but the only team who people remember from 1970’s is Dutch national football team and their clubs (Ajax, PSV, Feyenoord).
1970 FIFA World Cup winner Brazil’s captain Carlos Alberto even said, “The only team I’ve seen that did things differently was Holland at the 1974 World Cup in Germany. Since then everything looks more or less the same to me…Their ‘Carousel’ style of play was amazing to watch and marvelous for the game.”
Dutch legend Johan Cruyff was the master of total football and he carries the Dutch legacy on his shoulder after his early retirement from the national duty. Well, it’s good to know legend himself is not alive to witness the demise of the beautiful football in his own country but it’s not the first time Netherlands has miss out of the World Cup finals.
They played first in 1934 and qualified for 1938 as well, but their absence was noteworthy till 1970. They played two back to back finals in 1974 and 1978, but they were missing out from 1982 and 1986 World Cup. History has repeated itself as Netherlands misses out FIFA World Cup Russia 2018.
Whenever Oranjes have played better and reaches to later stage of the tournament they have missed out the qualification in other two World Cups. They missed 1982 and 1986 after finishing runners-up in previous two campaigns.
They were runners-up in 2010 and they finished third in 2014, and here they are missing out from Russia 2018. It’s not new for the Dutch to miss out from the World Cup finals, but it still disappoints the fans whenever their favourite team misses a major tournament.
Arjen Robben says goodbye to international career
It’s second major tournament in which Oranjes are not going to participate. They didn’t qualify for Euro 2016, haven’t qualified for FIFA World Cup Russia 2018, and it forced Arjen Robben to announce his premature retirement.
Robben is definitely one of the modern world class footballer, and has achieved a lot in club football. He has a very successful run with Bayern Munich, Chelsea and Real Madrid. He won Champions League(1), Premier League(2), Laliga(1) and German championship(6) in three different countries, but one thing which will haunt him just like other legendary Dutch footballer is winners medal for the national team.
Robben said on his retirement, “if you’re at school, children who play football, you give everything to win. If you don’t succeed, that’s a huge disappointment. Then it’s ok to be sad, but better times are coming.”
Dutch people will remember Arjen Robben as one of their great footballers as he said goodbye to his international career, but once again history repeats itself for a Dutch footballer, he took premature retirement without winning anything substantial for his country.