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Dutch courage, self-belief make a heady Oranje mix

sports Updated: Jul 04, 2010 00:11 IST
Dhiman Sarkar
Dhiman Sarkar
Hindustan Times
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Whatever happens now, Brazil's record of being the only country to win the World Cup outside their continent will now be broken. And it could finally be the turn of Holland, the best team to have never won the World Cup.

If that happens, a major portion of the credit should go to coach Bert van Marwijk. For making this team believe they can. The coach said Holland showed traces of that belief soon after Robinho put Brazil ahead. “If we were to lose this match, it would have been in the first 15 minutes,” said Van Marwijk

“And in the second half, we were much more courageous and braver and that's why we were rewarded. It showed in the way Gregory van der Wiel improved in the second half. He was a little insecure in the first half but in the second, he dared to play his own game. This is one game where whatever we said for the past two years, all came together. We have shown we can play a fantastic team, one that deserves to be favourites. If you believe in something, you have got to go for it. I genuinely believe this team understands that,” he said.

By saying a lot still needs to be done, both the coach and his star player, Wesley Sneijder, showed how different this Holland team is from their predecessors. Proof of that also lay in Sneijder and Robin van Persie talking, sharing a laugh after the match.

Further proof of that came in the coach’s comment that it is just as well that the team is far away from the celebrations back home for it is a distraction they don't need now. “Pity we can't be part of that but, it's a good thing. We need to concentrate.”

Steadfast in his refusal to go overboard, Van Marwijk accepted, almost grudgingly, that this could be one of his “most beautiful” victories. And he refused to answer where he would put this Dutch team in history. “We weren't thinking of Dortmund,” he said, referring to The Netherlands’ last win against Brazil in the World Cup in 1974.

And when someone tried to take some sheen off the victory saying Arjen Robben won a free-kick that wasn't, the coach hit back calling the journalist “a chauvinist” and saying Brazil should be ashamed of how Melo left his studs on the Dutch.