venerdì 11 giugno 2010

World cup team profiles on Inside Futbol

The Oranjes’ worst enemy has always been themselves. The Dutch have produced outstanding players, but regularly failed to come up with a truly great team – except for the ‘74 World Cup. Dressing room turbulence has often veered them off course, with no better example than in 1990, when a team of stars such as van Basten, Ruud Gullit, Frank Rijkaard and Ronald Koeman were dumped out at the Round of 16 game without a single game won. If the Dutch can survive themselves, van Marwijk’s men have the quality to reach the semi-finals at least.
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Strong support at home might not be enough for Switzerland to qualify for the second round. Despite having topped their group, the team’s performances were often far from impressive and Ottmar Hitzfeld’s men seem to lack something. Goalscoring continues to be a problem and from September through until May the country only found the net through free-kicks and penalties. “To upset the favourites”, Hitzfeld commented, “we will have to improve.” The coach is right and it won’t be easy.
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Thanks to Weiss, Slovakia are a charming blend of veterans and young talents. The coach has shown he is willing to pick players from just about anywhere, calling up Slovaks from France to England, from Turkey to Poland and from Holland to Russia. Weiss has brought these together perfectly to form a team. As goalscorer Stanislav Sestak has said: “During the qualification process we played brilliantly as a team.” This is the reason why Slovakia will not be an easy opponent for anyone. The Round of 16 is not just a dream.
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