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Page last updated at 21:04 GMT, Thursday, 1 July 2010 22:04 UK

World Cup 2010: Netherlands coach calms expectations

Netherlands players celebrate Johan Cruyff's goal against Brazil

1974 - Cruyff inspires Dutch to win over Brazil

Netherlands coach Bert van Marwijk has warned that Friday's World Cup quarter-final against Brazil might not be the feast of football some expect.

The last-eight clash in Port Elizabeth brings together two nations famed for a free-flowing, attacking style of play.

But Van Marwijk insists the days of the Dutch Total Football against Brazil's traditional "samba" style are over.

"It was a long time ago, Total Football - if you play like that now it's very hard to win the Cup," said Van Marwijk.

"(The Netherlands') Total Football was back in 1974. We could play football very well for 20 or 30 years. It was Total Football, and I also remember Brazil's samba football.


"But sport changes and football changes also. It has to do with the fact everybody is getting fitter, better organised."

Even in the era of Total Football - where outfield players interchanged and were able to operate in any position as the situation dictated - the Netherlands did not win a World Cup, their best achievement at an international tournament being their 1988 European Championship triumph.

And Van Marwijk makes few apologies for curbing the Netherlands' traditional attacking philosophy, having vowed from the start of his reign that he would make the team more pragmatic.

The Dutchman took over from Marco van Basten following the Netherlands' quarter-final loss to Russia at Euro 2000, and commented that that side "gave away too many chances".

Bebeto and Romario

1994 - Branco free-kick sinks Netherlands

On Friday, he added: "I said when I started that I wanted to teach the team to defend."

Brazil boss Dunga, too, has attempted to rein in his side's traditional instincts to attack in numbers, angering many critics at home with an equally pragmatic style.

His selection of the likes of Gilberto Silva and Felipe Melo - two more defensive players - in the centre of midfield, and his insistence the team defends as a whole from front to back without the ball has been labelled as "anti-football" in some sections of the Brazilian media.

However, he has steadfastly stuck to his guns, insisting: "We don't live on talent. We live on results."

Results support his philosophy, with Dunga having led Brazil to the 2007 Copa America and 2009 Confederations Cup leading up to the World Cup.

They are now unbeaten in South Africa and are many people's tip to not only dispatch the Netherlands but also emerge as outright winners of the Cup.

Brazil's Robinho

Highlights - Brazil 3-0 Chile

Dunga, despite the more responsible approach of both sides, is still predicting an entertaining encounter on Friday.

"They are always pretty matches," said the 46-year-old. "The teams always try to play. The players have quality, they do what we all like to see, try to dribble, take chances, use their creativity.

"They always go for the goal and for the victory. When two teams play like that the show is good."

However, Dunga did warn that "a lot of it has to do with the way the Netherlands play. If 20 players stay in one half it's going to be more difficult to score".

Dunga has, however, taken exception to Dutch legend Johan Cruyff's claims this week that he "would never pay for a ticket to watch the matches of this Brazilian team. Where is the Brazilian magic?".

"Without doubt I would pay (to see Brazil)," replied Dunga at a news conference on Thursday. "I like to see these games, as the players are very technically gifted.

"(Cruyff) must get free tickets from Fifa anyway, so he doesn't pay. He can see the matches he likes.

"We always want to play a more open game because that's more beautiful."

Dirk Kuyt

Highlights - Netherlands 2-1 Slovakia

Brazil go into the match with something of a selection dilemma, with Elano ruled out with an ankle injury, Melo (ankle) and Julio Baptista (knee) doubtful and Ramires suspended.

The Netherlands, on the other hand, have a fully-fit squad from which to choose their XI after forward Rafael van der Vaart returned to training after a two-day absence with a calf injury.

And Van Marwijk is confident his side, who have won all four of their games in South Africa, can upset the odds and beat the samba boys.

"Brazil are favourites for the World Cup, but we've proven we can also beat this type of opponent," he said. "I am fully confident of that.

"My team are absolutely ready, you can sense their excitement. They know they are facing an important match and are fully focused.

Brazil's Robinho

The drama of the World Cup so far

"We're not afraid of them. We know Brazil are a good strong team with a number of weapons like speed and turning around a game, but I know we can win this match."

Dunga, unsurprisingly, is equally confident.

"Brazil doesn't depend on just a small group of players, but a whole collective," he said. "The entire team is important.

"If they all play up to expectations, we're going to get the results we're looking for."

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see also
Can Dutch spring a surprise?
01 Jul 10 |  World Cup 2010
Classic awaits Brazil and Netherlands
01 Jul 10 |  World Cup 2010
Injury sidelines Brazil ace Elano
30 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Van Marwijk defends Dutch style
28 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Slovakia coach in awe of Robben
28 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Referees must be tougher - Elano
22 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Dunga expects Brazil improvement
28 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Dunga takes on Brazilian press
24 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Eriksson tips Brazil to win Cup
20 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
New-look Brazil go back to basics
03 Mar 10 |  World Cup 2010
Team tracker and Predictor
27 May 10 |  World Cup 2010
World Cup venues
05 Dec 09 |  World Cup 2010

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