Holland 1974
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This web site is dedicated to the Dutch World Cup team of 1974.

The Dutch line-up for the final of the 1974 World Cup:
Neeskens, Krol, Van Hanegem, Jansen, Suurbier, Rep, 
Rijsbergen, Rensenbrink, Haan, Jongbloed, Cruyff

  This extraordinary collection of talented footballers set the world on fire for a few brief weeks in the summer of 1974. They captured the imagination of a generation of fans in a way that no team, before or after, have matched. They played football in a way we hadn't seen before, with skill, strength, intelligence and attitude merged together into a mixture that was uniquely theirs. They didn't actually win the World Cup, heaven knows why, but they created a set of memories that have lasted a generation now, and will continue undimmed for a long while to come.

  To your author, an 18-year-old living in England, obsessed with football but somehow never having really witnessed anything you might call football history, this was my defining moment in the game. I was too young to remember the Real Madrid of Puskas, the Man Utd of the Busby Babes, the Tottenham of Blanchflower, or the great Hungarian or Brazilian teams of the 1950s, too young to appreciate what the English World Cup win in 1966 meant. Even the Brazilians of 1970, brilliant though they undoubtedly were, didn't have the same appeal. They looked like superhumans, beings from another place, which in those days Brazil might as well have been.

  But the Dutchmen of Feyenoord and Ajax in the early 1970s, and the national side of 1974, looked like the people who lived next door. They had long hair, they slouched for the team photos, they made no attempt to pretend they were singing the national anthem. They were scruffy and untidy, in a deliberate sort of way. They argued among themselves, not violently but forcefully and passionately. They conducted press conferences in several languages, lucidly and without resorting to clichés about "taking every game as it comes".

  They had the greatest player in the world (Cruyff of course), several more talented strikers and midfield players, a load of defenders who did far more than defend, and a goalkeeper who just didn't look like a goalkeeper. They had their wives and girlfriends to stay at the team hotel. They wore ridiculous squad numbers. Their goal celebrations were so passionate they made you want to join in even if you were watching on television. They looked as if they wanted it. They were my team - in that strange way that football teams become your team for no rational reason.

The first of many pics of Johan Cruyff on this site
Ruud Krol modelling the famous orange kit

  And then, there was that kit, the orange Adidas shirts with the three bands down the sleeve, white (sometimes black) shorts and orange socks. Distinctive, bright, very 1970s, it spoke about the team that wore it like no other kit could, and it would still look cool today.

  This web site is my attempt at getting together as many of the facts relating to this team as I can. I hope it's accurate - if not, please let me know - and I hope it brings back the memories for those who find it as it did for me producing it.

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