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Heroes’ welcome for defeated Dutch

  • Amsterdam greets the 1974 FIFA World Cup’s crushed finalists
  • Rinus Michels’ aspect’s ‘Total Football’ had captivated the arena
  • Johan Cruyff: “Maybe we were the real winners in the end”

These are the scenes that adopted essentially the most painful defeat in Dutch soccer historical past. But if it appears extra like a delirious victory birthday celebration than a mournful wake, this used to be for excellent reason why.

Over time, the 2-1 loss to West Germany on the climax of the 1974 FIFA World Cup would develop into referred to as ‘The Lost Final’. Rinus Michels’ impossible to resist aspect had, in any case, taken the lead sooner than a unmarried German participant had touched the ball, and spent the following 20 mins toying with their reputedly outclassed hosts.

“We wanted to make fun of the Germans,” striker Johnny Rep later admitted. “We forgot to score the second goal. When you see the film of the game, you can see the Germans got more and more angry. It was our fault.” 

However, whilst the query of ways and why that they had long past directly to lose would hang-out the Dutch for a long time, satisfaction overshadowed ache within the recreation’s fast aftermath. And there used to be masses to be pleased with.

Michels’ ‘Clockwork Oranje’ had captivated the observing international in ‘74, showcasing an exhilarating and famously fluid emblem of soccer this is nonetheless remembered and celebrated to nowadays. Carlos Alberto, captain of the mythical Brazilian workforce that had lifted the trophy 4 years previous, used to be amongst its many lovers. “The only team I’ve seen that did things differently was Holland at the 1974 World Cup,” mentioned the Seleção icon. “Their carousel style of play was amazing to watch and marvellous for the game.”

Johan Cruyff revelled in such compliments, announcing later: “There is no medal better than being acclaimed for your style.” He noticed that, even in defeat, the Dutch had made an indelible mark at the World Cup – and their reception in Amsterdam mirrored this. Cruyff & Co have been greeted as heroes once they landed at Schipol Airport, and went directly to a royal reception with the rustic’s queen and top minister sooner than being serenaded by means of tens of hundreds of lovers amid a birthday celebration environment on the town’s Leidseplein Square.

Michels, 2nd from proper on this image, were right here sooner than, having a look out on cheering crowds from the balcony of the Stadsschouwburg theatre. But that used to be after Ajax’s European Cup wins, now not within the wake of an excruciating and reputedly avoidable Final loss.

Then once more, in all probability Cruyff used to be proper in regards to the relative significance of medals and trophies. As he mentioned of that Final loss to The Guardian only a 12 months sooner than his passing: “Maybe we were the real winners in the end. I think the world remembers our team more.”

Did you recognize?
Johan Neeskens, some of the stars of that well-known Dutch workforce, paid a seek advice from to the FIFA World Football Museum remaining month and spoke about their Final defeats in 1974 and ’78.

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