The Netherlands were criticized for physical play during the 2010 World Cup. Their coach saw fit to apologize to the Spanish.
Spain beat Van Marwiks Oranje in the final in Johannesburg 1-0 after extra time, Andres Iniesta scored the decisive goal just four minutes before the final flow. The Netherlands were heavily criticized for playing throughout the tournament and especially for their performance in the final, which was considered too aggressive.
The image of Nigel de Jong’s foot firmly planted in the chest of La Roja midfielder Xabi Alonso was the perfect symbol of this overly physical game by the Dutch in South Africa. Their destructive style marked a complete reversal of the attractive philosophy of Total Football launched by Rinus Michels and Johan Cruyff, who guided them to subsequent World Cup finals in the 1970s, although they were beaten on both occasions. .
The great Dutchman Cruyff criticized the team of Van Marwijk for having played “anti-football” after the defeat in 2010, while Spain was praised for its exciting passing game that made it possible to win a very first world title and success in two consecutive European championships.
Van Marwijk said after the 2010 competition that he was proud of his players for their second place.
Del Bosque on the other hand took care not to condemn the Dutch for their violent tackles. And it is perhaps for this reason that he visited Van Marwijk a little later in the year in question. The Batavian coach personally came to apologize for the face his training gave.
“He was a little sad. He didn’t quite agree (with what his team showed). We had great respect for the Netherlands and their traditional style”said Del Bosque in an interview with Goal. “At the beginning of the game they were trying to destroy our game, they were doing things that were not so good but I am no one to judge or blame them. But it is true that he came to Madrid in December to join us for a “He’s a gentleman, a good guy. You really have to be a very special guy to do that.”
Del Bosque spent eight years as manager of the Spanish team and retired after his term in June 2016.