A quick note about transliteration: As this site is written in English (well, my best attempt at it), I've used anglicised spellings of names where English usage demands it (e.g., Munich, not München), otherwise I've tried to use the native spelling (e.g., Müller, not Mueller, Edström, not Edstroem). Hopefully, my use of accents (as in Paulo César Lima) is accurate - if not, or if you think any other names are spelt wrongly, please advise.
Now the tricky bit ...
I've used "Cruyff" rather than the Dutch spelling "Cruijff",
as that's how the great man's name is commonly spelt in England.
I'm aware that "Rijsbergen" and "Schrijvers" should perhaps be similarly amended,
but, inconsistent though it probably is, that is how those names tend to be
written by English-speaking authors, so, that's how I've left them.
My apologies to anyone who feels strongly that I've not done justice to their language.
I would of course be grateful for any correction on point of fact,
or in fact more or less any further information whatsoever.
A credit for, and my gratitude to, The Animation Factory,
from where most of the animated flags were obtained:
A few recommended links for those who may want to find out more ...
Details of all games in the 1974 World Cup, text only (mainly in English):
FIFA site 1974 World Cup page:
The Orange Pages, a vast collection of information about Dutch football, including all World Cup campaigns, and forward links to all major Dutch club sites:
The Orange Team page, facts and figures:
Another site dedicated to the Dutch national team, a vast store of information:
Another page about the Orange Team:
A page of interviews with all the players from the 1974 Final;
all interviews are in Dutch and German
(any translator willing to provide me with an English version?):
A Portuguese site about the 1974 Dutch team:
A Dutch news page which seems to be a sort of "Where Are They Now?"
for the players of both sides from the 1974 World Cup Final
(and from which I have borrowed much information for the Epilogue page):
Another Dutch-based site,
with vast numbers of interesting links to football sites all over the world:
This one, the title says it all really:
The official Johan Cruyff site, Dutch only at the moment, English language version promised:
More details about Dutch footballers of the past:
A page in Spanish about Rob Rensenbrink:
Everything you could ever want to know about football stadiums around the world:
Many of the above sites have contributed in some way to making these pages what they are.
Any other related sites that want a link, please get in touch.
Other sources of information I've drawn on include the contemporary journalism of
Geoffrey Green in the Times and David Lacey and Paul Wilcox in the Guardian,
plus the extensive and ever illuminating writings of Brian Glanville.
"Where can I get videos of these games?", is a question I get asked a lot. Firstly, the UK satellite channel Sky Sports 3 had an occasional "World Cup Classics" series, usually shown on Thursday evenings and repeated on Friday afternoons, with extensive coverage (almost the full 90 minutes) of a game from the 1960s or 1970s. In recent years, the Holland 1974 games against Uruguay, Bulgaria, Argentina, Brazil and West Germany have all been aired. However, it now seems this series has ended, for the moment, so write to Sky Sports and complain!
There is a company in Holland called the Dutch Soccer Office which supplies reasonable quality VHS videos in PAL format (i.e. suitable for Europe and Australia) of Dutch club and international games, including all the 1974 World Cup matches, most of the 1978 World Cup, and many key Ajax games:
They ask for cash payment, and, while I of course make no personal guarantee, I must say they have been very straight in their dealings with me.
For our friends in the Americas, there is a firm who offer videos in NSTC format:
whose catalogues includes some 1974 videos, but I think they only have the Argentina, Brazil and West Germany games available.
A very recommended British supplier of videos in both PAL and NSTC format is:
The official FIFA film of the 1974 World Cup is called "Heading for Glory",
and it is, frankly, not very good.
Lots of long, moody scenes of sunrise over an empty stadium,
caretakers opening changing rooms,
security guards taking the trophy to the stadium,
buses with the names of the teams on them driving round and round for no good reason.
The makers seem to think we would rather see interminable shots of
excitable supporters in "ethnic" outfits making silly noises
rather than what happened on the field.
The commentary is inane -
they use "Dutch Master" and "Flying Dutchman" in the first few minutes -
and the music infuriating.
Not much football, cliché-ridden, and best avoided.
(The 1978 one isn't too bad, though.)
Many books about the World Cup generally are available. Two which I'd particularly recommend are Brian Glanville's sometimes vitriolic but always captivating "The Story of the World Cup" (Faber and Faber, ISBN 0571190812), and Cris Freddi's very readable "The Complete Book of the World Cup" (Collins Willow, ISBN 0002188317).
Another very interesting volume is "A History of the World Cup, Volume I. The Jules Rimet Years" by Ken Knight, John Kobylecky and Serge van Hoof (Heart Books, ISBN 9075899027). Volume II, covering 1974, has recently been published, along with Volumes III and IV for 1978 and 1982 respectively (No ISBNs given). Kobylecky is now credited as sole author, there are no pictures, and the new volumes, though expensive, are paperback only. The style is again riveting and the coverage comprehensive, but the translation seems to have been a bit rushed, there are a few howlers ("Many of a tragically thin crowd stayed at home" - Holland v Austria, 1978), and the overuse of the italic font gets a bit grating. Nevertheless, a vital document for anyone for anyone who is sufficiently interested in the 1974 World Cup to be reading this far.
Contemporary books devoted to the 1974 World Cup are of course hard to find these days. The German "Fußball Welmeisterschaft" series has a fabulous volume devoted to the 1974 tournament by Frank Grube and Gerhard Richter (Hoffman und Campe, there were of course no ISBNs in those days), packed with "documentation, balance and analysis", plus loads of pictures. It's in German of course, so it's hard for me to confirm whether it really is a balanced account, but it does look well researched and thoughtfully put together. Another coffee-table book of the era is the unimaginatively titled "World Cup 1974" from "proSport of Munich". The coverage does not seem quite as uniform, but the team of international writers, including many contributions from David Miller, write in four languages (German, English, French and Spanish) so this book's appeal may be wider. Once again, the pictures are superb, but, once again, it's rare and expensive.
A definitive history of the Dutch team of the 1970s in the English language has not yet been written, to the best of my knowledge. The justly praised "Brilliant Orange" by David Winner (Bloomsbury, ISBN 0747547084) is perhaps the nearest thing. Its sub-title, "The Neurotic Genius of Dutch Football", should give you a good idea what to expect: it's obviously written by someone who loves the game, and the Dutch way of playing it, but is not afraid of addressing the causes of failure, often letting the participants tell their own side of the story in their own words and leaving the reader to make the judgement. The non-linear narrative prevents it being classed as a true history, and it does digress away from football a bit too often for my personal liking: trying to set football in a social context without seeming arty and pretentious is a narrow line to tread. Also, there are some glaring omissions - Feyenoord and PSV for example! But it is an enjoyable volume, compulsive reading, deeply evocative of the period, packed with stories about the colourful characters who were central to the saga of Dutch football in the 1970s and beyond, and full of insight and perceptive analysis. Anyone sufficiently interested in Dutch football to have found this site, really should own this book.
Simon Kuper's wide-ranging "Football Against the Enemy" (Phoenix, ISBN 1857992490) contains several chapters which are of interest to anyone with an eye on Dutch football. A most enlightening section about why Bobby Robson "failed" at PSV Eindhoven (in spite of winning the championship), a further attempt at explaining the rivalry between Holland and Germany, and an in-depth look at the Argentinian footballing mentality, taking in the 1978 World Cup, are only three of many reasons why you should own this book.
The much-hyped "Ajax, Barcelona, Cruyff" by Frits Barend and Henk van Dorp (Bloomsbury, ISBN 0747543054) consists of transcripts of radio interviews conducted with Cruyff over many years. The authors add but few notes of their own, mainly by way of setting the scene or explaining the significance of some remark in its historical context. The contradictions in some of Cruyff's arguments, inevitable perhaps given the time span, are never pointed out, so you have to find them for yourself, which is either part of the charm of this book or its weakness, depending on your point of view. It's an interesting read in some places, but frankly a bit grating in others: it's hard to read replies like, "If I'd wanted you to understand, I would have explained it better", and not wonder just what were Cruyff's motives in doing the interviews in the first place, let alone authorising their publication in book form.
There is a monumental tome in Dutch about the history of their team over the years, called "Het Nederlands Elftal" (various authors, ISBN 9024526051). To call it "comprehensive" is hardly doing it justice, but you do need to understand Dutch, which I regrettably don't. Also highly spoken of by the Dutch football sites is "Voetbal van Oranje" by Thomas Snyder (ISBN 9029537175), which (as best a non-Dutch speaker can judge) represents an attempt to present the history of the Dutch football team as a unified whole.
A good place for obtaining books and videos online is the London bookshop:
Anotehr specialist bookshop in London:
Another good site with online ordering, and an extensive catalogue of books and videos:
And another site worth a look with lots of interesting titles is the Belgian bookshop:
Replica shirts are another item which many people have asked me about. There is a bit of a problem here, I believe, namely that the three-stripe designs as worn in 1974 and 1978 are the copyright of Adidas, and no independent trader dare risk bringing the wrath of that giant organisation down on them.
There is a site called
who claim to do replicas "as worn by Johann Cruyff" (sic),
which presumably means 1974 style,
though apparently they can only do them in bulk.
Anyway, they ignored me completely when I wrote to them,
but please make your own judgement.
NB - The site has gone offline recently,
but I'll leave the link here for a while in case it reappears.
The rather more well-established TOFFS offer what they call "60s" Holland shirts, home (orange) and away (white), for about £25 each although they look to me more like the late-1970s versions, as worn in the 1978 World Cup, only without the three stripes on the sleeve or (of course) the Adidas logo. Catalogue numbers are 3039 and 3037 respectively. The KNVB badge is faithfully reproduced. TOFFS refer to their shirts as "vintage" rather than "replicas", which gets them round accusations of inaccuracy, but of course without the stripes the shirts could never be replicas in the true sense of the word no matter what they call them. They also do Dutch club shirts from the 1970s. The shirts are very good quality, and you can order them online, but do allow for a lengthy wait before the shirts are delivered.
Another site claiming to do 1974 style shirts is Score Draw. However, I notice that their site still, after being online for several months, describes the Company Information page as being "under construction", although (surprise!) the "secure" online ordering seems to work fine. Their address is quoted as a PO Box number in Essex, and there's no telephone number or e-mail address, all of which I'm afraid does not inspire me with enough confidence to part with my credit card details. The shirts look decent enough (not too sure about the KNVB badge though), but I'd like to hear from anyone who has had dealings with them, pleased or otherwise. It would appear that the bookshop Sportspages are now selling this exact shirt.
If anyone out there knows of another replica shirt manufacturer worth a mention here,
especially someone who does a decent 1974 style shirt,
please get in touch.
Important Note: I don't offer any personal guarantee about any of the merchandise mentioned on this page. Any commercial transaction is between you and the vendor. However, if you do have a bad experience at the hands of any of the suppliers, I'd like to hear about it. There's very little I can actually do, you understand, except perhaps threaten to remove the link from this site, but I don't want to publicise any bad traders.
On a more positive note, although I'm not on commission or anything,
if you do purchase something from the suppliers on this page,
it would be appreciated if you could mention to them where you heard about them.
Who knows, one day I may even be able to negotiate a discount or something.
This site's younger brother, dedicated to the 1978 Dutch World Cup team, went live 1st January 2000:
Any related site that wants a link, please get in touch.