My First Holland-Germany

Every Dutch child, especially when it is a boy, is raised learning that the most important events in life matches are the football matches against our eastern neighbours, the Germans. For 90 minutes and a bit more, nothing else matters. The rivalry is intense. Historically, the tension has been building, with the Germans winning the European title in 1972, 1980, and 1996, and the World title in 1954, 1974, and 1990. This may already be a source of envy, given that Holland is the only team to have been in 3 World Cup finals but has never won. The German victory in 1974 was especially bitter. We had impressed the world with our Total Football, which still inspires teams like FC Barcelona with their tiki-taka playing style, had star players like Van Hanegem, Cruijff, and Neeskens – but it wasn’t enough. Continue reading