Skip to main content
Part of complete coverage on

Cruyff slams 'anti-football' of beaten Dutch side

Dutch legend Cruyff was not impressed by their style of play in the 1-0 World Cup defeat to Spain.
Dutch legend Cruyff was not impressed by their style of play in the 1-0 World Cup defeat to Spain.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Dutch legend Johan Cruyff critical of their robust approach in World Cup final
  • Cruyff accuses them of adopting "anti-football" football tactics in 1-0 loss to Spain
  • Former Barcelona coach Cruyff rebukes "ugly, vulgar" approach of Dutch team

(CNN) -- The robust approach of the Netherlands side in the World Cup final has drawn a fierce rebuke from Dutch legend Johan Cruyff, who accused them of "dirty" play and adopting "anti-football" tactics.

Cruyff was the star player of the revered Dutch team of the 1974 World Cup that introduced the concept "total football" to the world.

Wesley Sneijder and Dirk Kuyt were the Oranje's outfield players from their starting 11 not to be booked by referee Howard Webb, while Johnny Heitinga saw red in extra-time for a second bookable offence as Spain won 1-0 at Soccer City on Sunday.

Cruyff, who coached Barcelona after his playing days were over, believes Nigel de Jong and Mark van Bommel were very fortunate to avoid red cards for challenges in the first half.

Manchester City midfielder De Jong, in particular, has come under criticism for his "kung-fu" style challenge which left Xabi Alonso nursing bruised ribs.

"Regrettably, sadly, they played very dirty. So much so that they should have been down to nine immediately, they made two ugly and hard tackles that even I felt the damage," wrote Cruyff.

This ugly, vulgar, hard, hardly eye-catching, lack of football style served the Dutch to unsettle Spain
--Johan Cruyff
RELATED TOPICS

"This ugly, vulgar, hard, hardly eye-catching, lack of football style served the Dutch to unsettle Spain. If with this they got satisfaction, fine, but they ended up losing.

"Some practiced anti-football considering that it was the only way to survive. It finished 0-0 (after regulation play) because they (Spain) could not play as they wanted."

Referee Webb also comes under criticism for failing to act tougher as he handed out a string of yellow cards without using the ultimate sanction until Heitinga was sent off deep into extra-time.

"You can referee badly, but what you cannot do is create your own type of justice and, worse, invent a personal application of the rules," Cruyff said.

"Not only did he fail to expel two Dutchmen, including (Arjen) Robben who deserved the second yellow, he also looked the other way at times in which he had to get involved.

"A World Cup final deserves a big referee, but above all, it deserves a referee who dares to do everything it means to be judge."

Cruyff was named man of the tournament at the 1974 World Cup, but his team lost the final 2-1 to West Germany.

He did not play in the 1978 World Cup where the Dutch again lost in the final to Argentina.

Part of complete coverage on
Psychic octopus to retire
Paul the octopus, who correctly predicted the outcome of eight World Cup matches in a row, is retiring from the forecasting business.
CNN's Twitter Buzz
Who's tweeting about what? Follow the World Cup trends and all the latest action from South Africa.
Are you passionate enough?
Are you a fanatical supporter of your national football team? Do you like to shout about your opinions? Become a CNN Super Fan!
Results and Standings
Check out all the scores, group tables and fixtures
CNN teams up with Foursquare
Let your friends know where you're watching the World Cup, and earn CNN badges while you're having fun.