Spain have too much for Dutch, says Cruyff

Dutch legend Johan Cruyff feels that Spain simply play better football than Holland and expects Vicente del Bosque's side to win tonight's World Cup final.

Cruyff, 63, was part of the Dutch side that reached the final in 1974 – they lost 2-1 to West Germany – but had retired from international football by the time Holland fell at the final hurdle four years later, losing 3-1, again to the hosts, Argentina.

A legend at Barcelona having graced the club as both a player and a coach, Cruyff is well-placed to judge both sides and sees Spain coming out on top tonight, if they are allowed to play their natural game. "Spain have always had good footballers and never a team, but now they have one," Cruyff said.

"They have worked very well in the last few years and if they get into their rhythm, they should win. Normally Spain play better [than Holland], but that doesn't mean they will win."

Cruyff was less enthusiastic about Holland, but believes Bert van Marwijk's side are an efficient outfit with two or three players who are at the top of their game.

"Holland is a very balanced team, they know their strengths and their weaknesses, and up until now [at this World Cup] they have always been able to make their strengths shine through," he said.

"They have two or three players playing at an exceptional level at the World Cup, and the team's level has risen enormously."

Meanwhile, another footballing great, Michel Platini, is said to be fighting fit again after his health scare on Friday night. The Fifa president Sepp Blatter revealed yesterday he had spoken with Platini's parents, who told him that the Frenchman had a history of fainting, but insisted that there was nothing to worry about.

Blatter revealed: "I spoke with him. He will not be at the match [last night's third-place play-off between Germany and Uruguay in Port Elizabeth], but he had already planned that because he's affected by flu. And then yesterday he fainted but it's not the first time. His parents, with whom I had contact this morning, said it happened from time to time to him. But now it's time – he's 55 years old– to make a good check.

"It's nothing to do with his heart, it's all OK, and I'm very happy and everybody is happy, football is happy, Europe is happy, and he will be in the final [tonight]."

Franz Beckenbauer, who won the World Cup with West Germany as a player and a coach, added that Platini was well, but admitted he was shocked when he first heard the news.

"He's well, this was not serious," Beckenbauer said. "But when at first you get the information, I got the information on Friday night, and of course you get a shock, but now it's all fine."

Arts and Entertainment
The eyes have it: Kate Bush
music
Arts and Entertainment
booksNovelist takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Arts and Entertainment
Al Pacino in ‘The Humbling’, as an ageing actor
filmHam among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
News
Fifi Trixibelle Geldof with her mother, Paula Yates, in 1985
people
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Mario Balotelli in action during his Liverpool debut
football ...but he can't get on the scoresheet in impressive debut
Environment
Pigeons have been found with traces of cocaine and painkillers in their system
environmentCan species be 'de-extincted'?
Arts and Entertainment
booksExclusive extract from Howard Jacobson’s acclaimed new novel
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
A Pilgrim’s Progress is described by its publisher as “the one-and-only definitive record” of David Hockney's life and works
people
Sport
Loic Remy signs for Chelsea
footballBlues wrap up deal on the eve of the transfer window
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Art
Arts and Entertainment
Elizabeth McGovern as Cora, Countess of Grantham and Richard E Grant as Simon Bricker
TV
Life and Style
Instagram daredevils get thousands of followers
techMeet the daredevil photographers redefining urban exploration with death-defying stunts
Arts and Entertainment
Diana Beard, nicknamed by the press as 'Dirty Diana'
TVDaughter says contestant was manipulated 'to boost ratings'
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

As the collections start, fashion editor Alexander Fury finds video and the internet are proving more attractive
Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy

Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall...

... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy
Weekend at the Asylum: Europe's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln

Europe's biggest steampunk convention

Jake Wallis Simons discovers how Victorian ray guns and the martial art of biscuit dunking are precisely what the 21st century needs
Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Lying is dangerous and unnecessary. A new book explains the strategies needed to avoid it. John Rentoul on the art of 'uncommunication'
Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough? Was the beloved thespian the last of the cross-generation stars?

Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough?

The atomisation of culture means that few of those we regard as stars are universally loved any more, says DJ Taylor