The KNVB, Royal Dutch Football Association, is one of the most decorated and respected football associations of all time. They have produced the likes of Johan Cruyff, Marco Van Basten, Clarence Seedorf, Wesley Sneijder, and the list goes on and on. More importantly, however, the KNVB is known for the style of soccer it promotes: they encourage technical excellence. There was a period in the 1970’s when the KNVB was playing beautiful soccer, but they were not winning anything. During that period they played their rivals – the Germans – and lost numerous times but suggested they were satisfied because they played a nicer game.
When you ask someone who they think the best players of all time are you will often get answers like Pele, Zinedine Zidane, Diego Maradona, or from the modern crowd you will get answers like Ronaldinho, Christiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi – and rightfully so! But what about players like Marco Van Basten and Johan Cruyff? Do you even know who these players are? Unfortunately, the modern day soccer player does not have these players on their radar. These soccer legends had just as much skill and talent as did Pele, Maradona, Zidane and etc. The soccer legends of today had to look up to someone as we look up to them, and it is these players that they looked up to. These are the players they mimicked; these are the players they learned from.