ZURICH - Netherlands and Belgium kicked off
World Cup decision day with a highly impressive presentation to
FIFA's executive committee - the 22 men who will vote on the
destinations of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups later on Thursday.
The joint-bid from the Low Countries is one of four aiming
to secure the 2018 finals against rival candidates England,
Russia and another joint-bid from Spain and Portugal.
The five countries bidding for the 2022 finals made their
presentations on Wednesday.
A self-deprecating video of Dutch coach Guus Hiddink's
travels around the world and video trickery which had Dutch and
Belgian greats Johann Cruyff, Ruud Gullit and Jean-Marie Pfaff
playing in the same team were highlights of the presentation.
More editing tricks made it appear that Cruyff, in a 1970s
interview, could tell the future by predicting that the
Netherlands would win the European Championship in 1988
captained by Gullit, as they did. He also "predicted" that the
World Cup would come to Belgium and the Netherlands in 2018.
Cruyff, Pfaff, Gullit and Belgium's best ever player Paul
van Himst were all on stage taking the applause from FIFA
delegates as the presentation ended.
Their serious message was that the compact nature of the two
countries, two of the founding fathers of FIFA in 1904, would
provide a safe, green World Cup with fans able to travel around
easily to matches.
Gullit told FIFA: "Our limited size is our real strength,
beneficial for players, fans and visitors. The economic power of
our country is high, we are in the heart of Europe and our bid
is a showcase for joint bids."
Central defender fit enough to play in the Champions League final at Wembley
Bayern Munich unfazed by the need to be more clinical in attack against Borussia Dortmund
Ruud Gullit believes Bayern Munich are in for a shock when they take on Borussia Dortmund
Napoli president denies reports that he has named Rafael Benitez as club's new manager
Ten years on, the legends speak to FFT
Your questions answered by an A to Z of legends
75% of all TV is Bale
On the road to ruin
Nike CR7 IX for you
FourFourTwo is brought to you by Haymarket Consumer Media & FourFourTwo is part of Haymarket Sport
| International Licensing | © Haymarket Media Group 2010