Start     National Team     History     Euro 2012       Partners

"The intellectualisation
of football has
always foundered
on a simple problem-
-the players. Doing
all your most
rewarding thinking
with your feet seems
to dull the philo-
sophical impulse.
Unless, of course,
you are Dutch.
According to legend,
Europeans played
a moronic, muscular
version of the world's
game, until Holland
proclaimed its vision
of total football in the
1974 World Cup,
and enlightenment

Brilliant Orange: The Neurotic Genius of Dutch Football

UEFA Euro 2012 Poland & Ukraine - Finals
Ron Vlaar: "I know what I am capable of"

31 May 2012

Ron Vlaar replaced Wilfred Bouma at half time of the game against Slovakia. The right footed defender took the position of the left center back and played well.

It was in the first minute that Wilfred Bouma and John Heitinga banged their heads together. It was an anxious moment as both defenders went own. Heitinga was able to finish the match, but Bouma had to be replaced at half time and even went to hospital for a checkup.

Ron Vlaar replaced him for the second half. "And then you just have be ready," said a happy Vlaar afterwards. "I believe I did well. I was focussed, that's very important. We gave away nothing at the back."

With both Mathijsen and Bouma now injured chances for Vlaar increase. Even a start against Denmark is now a possibility. "I don't know. I just want to perform as well as I can. It goes well in training. I feel good. I feel fit. And the manager knows what I'm worth to the team."

He feels accepted by the group that he has joined only recently. "Yeah, I really feel that. The boys know what I'm about. I know what I'm capable of."

Coming off the bench in a packed Kuip Stadium felt right: "Its special to play for Holland in this stadium. I've had some great moments here this past season. And this was one of them."

For the right footed Vlaar the position on the left in the center wasn't new: "I've played half my games last season on that position. I know what is expected."

It was the first time he played with Stijn Schaars on his side at left back, but it went well: "We communicated well. When you see what we gave away, then you can say the defense stood well. When we lost the ball we never got into trouble. Of course the opponents will be a little stronger, but it still takes that level of concentration."

Holland were sharper on Wednesday than they were on Saturday against Bulgaria. "Then we had just returned from training camp and we traveled on the day of the match. That plays a role. You have to be able to deal with it. We played well for an hour. Bu you can not lose that game. Especially not the way we did. But you mustn't ponder upon it. As a team you want a to make up for that. I think we're on the right track now. A victory boosts confidence, it's as simple as that. It's confidence for Saturday's match, and then travel to Poland with a good feeling. We trained well and hard in Switzerland, and in the end that hard work has to pay of. It's all about the 9th of June."

Euro 2012 campaign - Results, schedule, standings

Holland at European Championships

All time European Championships ranking


Robben: "Hard to grasp"
Van Bommel after defeat: "I'm a little speechless"
Van Marwijk: "In no mood to get negative"
Flat Dutch don't know what to do with 20+ chances
Netherlands-Denmark: lineup
Joris Mathijsen recovering well
Cruyff: "Kuyt at right back"
Mathijsen still uncertain - could miss entire tournament
Holland and Denkmark: head-to-head
Van Persie seems worth the confidence
Van Marwijk again opts for Van Persie instead of Huntelaar
Huntelaar: "Upset is not the right the word"
Ron Vlaar: "I know what I am capable of"
Van Marwijk: "We remained disciplined"
Ibi and Rafa show manager he has options
Ibrahim Afellay Oranje's Zidane?
Van Marwijk looking for certainties
Cruijff: "Not enough depth in your game is asking for trouble"
Bouma: "I've gone through the desert"
Van Persie: "Defeat at this point not a problem"
Euro 2012 finals squad
Mathijsen strains muscle
Bulgarians surprise Oranje
Ola Toivonen's goal sees Sweden beat Holland and qualify
Klaas-Jan Huntelaar sinks Moldova
Oranje maintain perfection, beat Finland
Netherlands thrash San Marino in Euro 2012 qualifier
Kuyt kills off brave Hungary for Netherlands
Oranje trash Hungary
Sweden no match for Oranje
Van Marwijk: "We left them without chance"
Dirk Kuyt out for months
"We are prepared for all scenarios"
Minimal but easy win for Holland in Moldavia
Van Marwijk: "We played very well"
Holland want result after tumultuous week
Van der Vaart to replace De Jong
"This case only has losers"
Van Marwijk drops Nigel de Jong
Holland & Moldavia: head-to-head
Holland & Sweden: head-to-head
Wisgerhof replaces Maduro
Bouma back on the radar
Netherlands - Finland 2-1
Van Marwijk: "We were late all over the pitch"
Van Bommel: "There wasn't anymore in it"
Heitinga: "That can not happen"
Van der Vaart unhappy with role on the side
Kuyt and Boulahrouz out with injury
"It all revolves around Jari Litmanen"
Sneijder: "Don't tinker with it"
Alonso: "No hard feelings"
Van Marwijk: "Second half was better"
San Marino-Netherlands 0-5
Oranje: a new mission