RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — The days of fluent, attacking “total football” are long gone for the Netherlands. Now, results matter more than the way they are achieved.
Anybody expecting the Netherlands to revert to the Oranje’s traditional free-flowing attacking play when Louis van Gaal’s team takes on Spain on Friday should think again.
Van Gaal has signaled he will likely play five defenders to stifle the defending world champion’s own fluent attacking style.
That could revive memories of the physical 2010 final in which eight Dutch players were booked and one sent off.
Robin van Persie said Sunday he has no regrets about the 2010 campaign.
He says “I think we can look back with pride.”