7 Reasons That The Netherlands Will Win The World Cup.
1. Un-likeability. Almost every successful World Cup team contains at least one thoroughly un-likeable character: Maradona, Rudi Voller, Gerd Muller and Marco Materazzi are all World Cup winners and in their squad the Netherlands have diving, whinging, sour-faced git Arjen Robben (the only thoroughly un-likeable Dutch person), so they’re bound to succeed. How we’ll all loathe him when he lifts the World Cup aloft on Saturday. But, there’s always one.
2. The War. The two nations that will be involved in the World Cup final have history and, when the Netherlands walk out to play, they’ll do so thinking about the war and bearing a grudge. They’ll take to the field having been fired-up in the build-up to the final by reminders of their historical enmity with their opponents. The Dutch revolt and the Eighty Years War will be on their minds and they’ll want to beat the Spaniards. That’s right, Spain. We know they’ll be playing Spain, because Paul the octopus said so.
3. Harmony. The Dutch always fall out with each other during the World Cup; internecine squabbling has undermined their performances at football tournaments time after time. At this World Cup though, they haven’t fallen out. Their whole squad seems united and with common purpose (perhaps disliking Arjen Robben is a common bond for them). Whatever it is, they seem to be getting on like a house on fire. And fire, remember, is orange.
4. Colour. The Dutch team play in orange, and if there’s one thing I know about Orange, it’s that their customer service is excellent. The customers of the Dutch team (their supporters) can enjoy the match safe in the knowledge that their team will go the extra mile to satisfy them. Also like Orange, their coverage is very good too, with Dirk Kuyt working hard and popping up in all areas of the pitch to tackle people and to shoot at the corner flag. I know that’s two things I know about Orange but I got carried away. And while I’m on the subject, as a special bonus fact for you, my wife has just told me that nothing rhymes with orange.*
5. Germany. The best team by a long way in the tournament has been Germany but, as the octopus has predicted that they won’t be in the final, this means that Spain will have knocked them out. This will probably take a lot of effort (perhaps even extra time) and, with a day less rest than the Netherlands, an already out of sorts looking Fernando Torres, and an injured Cesc Fabregas, Spain will not be effective opponents in the final against the Dutch. They’ll have worn themselves out chasing Özil. Or trying to find him on the pitch even. He seems able to disappear and reappear somewhere entirely different unnoticed by opponents.
6. Their name. Part of the motivation for the players will undoubtedly be national pride. After all, the Netherlands is a country which has produced countless gifted teams but has never won anything at the World Cup. Ah, just like Spain, I hear you say. The difference with the Netherlands though, is that at least everyone knows that Spain is called España. Most people seem to think that the Netherlands is called Holland, which is actually the name of a couple of provinces. It’s like calling the United Kingdom Wales. They’ll want to go out there and ensure that we get their name right in future.
7. Spain. It’s summer in Spain, and this means that a substantial part of their population currently consists of Britons. And look how well our teams fared at the World Cup. They don’t have a hope.**
*This doesn’t seem quite right to me, nothing rhymes better with puffin.
**Though at 7 Reasons, we haven’t been right about anything at all during this World Cup, so perhaps they do.