Skip to content

Cruyff slams 'anti-football'

Image: Cruyff: Slams performance

Holland legend Johan Cruyff has slammed the Dutch team for playing 'anti-football' in the World Cup final.

Dutch legend highly critical of final display

Holland legend Johan Cruyff has slammed the Dutch team for playing 'anti-football' in the World Cup final. Spain emerged victorious in Soccer City on Sunday following a 1-0 win after extra time as Andres Iniesta scored the crucial goal to earn their first ever world title. Cruyff was part of the Holland team that was famed for playing 'Total Football' in the 1970s, but the 63-year-old was highly critical of the 'vulgar' display at the weekend. The Oranje had a gameplan to unsettle Spain with tough tackles but Bert van Marwijk's men were lucky not to have more than one player sent off during the 120 minutes. "Thursday they asked me from Holland, 'Can we play like Inter? Can we stop Spain in the same way (Jose) Mourinho eliminated Barca?'" Cruyff told El Periodico, in reference to the way Inter Milan defended their way to a UEFA Champions League semi-final victory over Barcelona. "I said no, no way at all. I said no, not because I hate this style - I said no because I thought that my country wouldn't dare to and would never renounce their style. I said no because, without having great players like those of the past, the team has its own style. "I was wrong. Of course I'm not hanging all 11 of them by the same rope, but almost. They didn't want the ball. "And regrettably, sadly, they played very dirty. So much so that they should have been down to nine immediately, then they made two (such) ugly and hard tackles that even I felt the damage. "It hurts me that I was wrong in my disagreement that instead Holland chose an ugly path to aim for the title.


"This ugly, vulgar, hard, hermetic, hardly eye-catching, hardly football style, yes it served the Dutch to unsettle Spain. If with this they got satisfaction, fine, but they ended up losing. "They were playing anti-football." Holland were openly critical of referee Howard Webb after the Englishman dished out 14 yellow cards. Cruyff was also unhappy with Webb's performance but believes he could have been even harsher with his decisions. He added: "When we say, often, that we do not like talking about referees, it is true and, above all, because only refereeing like that last night by the English Howard Webb can create in us a state of such indignation that then yes, it is necessary to comment. "Because you can referee wrong, make a mistake, but what you cannot do is create your own sense of justice and, even worse, invent a very personal application of the rules. "Not only did he not send off two Dutchmen (including Arjen Robben who deserved the second yellow) but he also looked the other way at times when he should have involved himself. "A World Cup final deserves great refereeing and, above all, deserves a referee who dares to do everything it means to be a judge."

Around Sky