JOHANNESBURG - There is only one way to
play a final and that is to win it, Netherlands captain Giovanni
van Bronckhorst said on the eve of Sunday's World Cup
spectacular against Spain.
Into their third World Cup final having lost in 1974 and
1978 to hosts West Germany and Argentina, Van Bronckhorst is
determined the Dutch will finally bring home the trophy.
"I played enough finals in my career to know what it is
about," he told a news conference on Saturday, "but finals you
don't play, you win them, and with that attitude we will get on
the pitch tomorrow... we all believe we can do it."
Van Bronckhorst revealed that the outstanding atmosphere in
the Dutch squad had been a major factor in their recent success.
"If the relationship between players is good you all are
willing to make that extra step for each other and that can make
the difference," he told reporters.
"We all worked hard the last two years to create this and it
would be great if we got rewarded for that tomorrow."
But 'Gio' not only has friends in his own team - he has
close friends in the Spanish squad including Xavi and Carlos
Puyol, from his four-year spell at Barcelona.
During the tournament they had been in touch and wished each
other good luck for every match.
"But tomorrow it will be special. It doesn't happen too
often that you play a World Cup final, and even when it is then
against friends, it will be us who will win the trophy," he
"I have dreamed about lifting the trophy, as a kid I started
watching all the World Cups and only a few have that moment of
receiving and lifting it, like Maradona, Dunga and Cafu.
"It would be great for me but for sure for the whole team to
clinch the cup," added the midfielder who retires as a player
after Sunday's showdown.
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