The Netherlands has been one of the world's most distinctive and sophisticated football cultures. From the birth of Total Football in the sixties, through two decades of World Cup near misses to the exiles who remade clubs like AC Milan, Barcelona, Arsenal and Chelsea in their own image, the Dutch have often been dazzlingly original and ...
The Netherlands has been one of the world's most distinctive and sophisticated football cultures. From the birth of Total Football in the sixties, through two decades of World Cup near misses to the exiles who remade clubs like AC Milan, Barcelona, Arsenal and Chelsea in their own image, the Dutch have often been dazzlingly original and influential. The elements of their style (exquisite skills, adventurous attacking tactics, a unique blend of individual creativity and teamwork, weird patterns of self-destruction) reflect and embody the country's culture and history. This book lays bare the elegant, fractured soul of the Dutch Masters and the culture that spawned them by exploring and analysing its key ideas, institutions, personalities and history in the context of wider Dutch society.
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(Let it be stated that I'm an huge fan of the Nederlands, the Dutch and their lifestyle. So excuse me for the "totally biased" review...)
Dutch football is absolutely magical. The way those guys slide over the grass, the way they draw lines and passes, the way they understand space and conquer it (just think of all the dikes...) and specialy that nonchalant way they show on the field are all of them indeed unique. A lot of people out there think of the orange elftal as the eternal near champions, but the fact is that they're almost present on every final stages and in everyone of them they makes us dream and revel with their football (just think of last Euro Cup in the Group stage; wow, Italy, France and Romania runned over...). And that should be enough, right?
Don't expect this book to offer you long definitions and gossip about footballers and specific games and techniques. Instead, this books prefers to span the views and conclude that dutch football is rather an obvious consequence of the dutch living tradition. They have invented total football indeed, but they've also invented total architecture and total design... In the end they know that there is more to life than football, that Valdano was right when he said that football is the most important of the unimportant things in life... But that has a price: being neurotic. Bummer for them, joy for us.
I should say that this is one of the greatest football books I've have ever read on the subject and that I recommmend it to everyone of you.
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