You do it with the dance, not the kick!
These are the words Dutch icon Johan Cruyff used to describe his homeland’s gameplan in the World Cup finals. He also sided with those who felt de Jong and van Bommel should’ve been tossed in regulation by Howard Webb.
I suppose it’s uncool to throw your countryfolk under the bus after they already lost (and the rest of the world is doing the bashing for you). But as the man credited as the most important cog in the creation of the adored Dutch national identity of Total Football, I can see why you’d fret over the destruction of that reputation — especially when all the ugliness delivered was another loss in a final.
Not that we should imagine Cruyff being kinder had they won. Then his accomplishments would’ve been eclipsed by a new Dutch team promoting everything he hates about the game. If anything, it’s more fun to imagine how much harsher he might’ve been had Robben slotted home in the 62nd.