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"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

Van Persie: "Defeat at this point not a problem"


For the first time since the team has gathered Robin van Persie spoke with the press, albeit only briefly. Reflecting on the 1-2 defeat against Bulgaria he said: "Through stretches of the game we played fairly well. But it was a practice game, so it's no big deal that we lost."

Van Persie scored the only goal in Saturday's match. He deflected a magnificent Wesley Sneijder pass into the net in the last minute of the first half. Although starting on the right he would pop up in front of the goal at times. Manager Bert van Marwijk gives his forwards a lot of freedom to roam, and it was perhaps because of that freedom that the players seemed to be uncertain about room division up front.

When on the ball Van Persie looked sharp, but very often he was passed by when the ball could have come to him. After Huntelaar was replaced with Arjen Robben Van Persie moved to the center where he seemed more at ease and created more room for himself.

On the match: "The result perhaps wasn't good, but through stretches of the game we played fairly well. It was a good opponent and then you can lose. They dug themselves in, but then again: giving away too much space isn't a wise thing to do against us.

"Of course we wanted to win. But at this point that's just not the most important thing. I rather lose now than in two weeks. So it's no big deal. We should learn from it though, learn from the goals we conceded. We shouldn't concede like that again. Bu it happens. Football is a game that's all about mistakes. We make mistakes too."

Still he scored a fine goal: "I like scoring goals. I like playing football. It doesn't matter where the manager puts me.

One of the reasons Van Persie had been silent for a week was his uncertain future at Arsenal. Of course he was asked about it. It was rumored that he had spoken to Arsene Wenger. "I do not wish to comment on that. That I keep to myself. We've agreed on that, so let's stick to that."

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