Spain out not to emulate 1970s Dutch

POTCHEFSTROOM - Spain are determined not to be remembered like the Dutch side of the 1970s who were widely praised for their delightful playing style but ended up trophyless, according to midfielder Xavi.

Deploying tactics that came to be known as 'Total Football', Netherlands reached the World Cup final in 1974 and 1978 but fell respectively to Franz Beckenbauer's West Germany and an Argentina side fired by the goals of Mario Kempes.

The Dutch players' orange shirts and their style, based around rapid passing and dominance of possession, prompted the nickname 'clockwork orange' in Spain after the film but Xavi said the team were only remembered now for their football.

"We don't want to become another clockwork orange, we want to be the champions," he told Spanish daily El Periodico ahead of Sunday's final against Netherlands in Johannesburg.

"We want to go down in history by lifting this trophy," he added. "It would be hugely just for football, good for this sport and, what's more, this generation of players deserves it."

Midfielder Sergio Busquets, who plays with Xavi at Spanish champions Barcelona, said on Friday Spain owed a large debt of gratitude to Netherlands because of the strong Dutch influence at Barca down the years.

Seven Barcelona players started Spain's semi-final against Germany, including Xavi, Andres Iniesta and Busquets, all of whom have inherited part of the legacy handed down from Dutch coaches Johan Cruyff through Louis van Gaal to Frank Rijkaard.

The Barcelona connection also applies to Netherlands assistant coaches Frank de Boer and Phillip Cocu plus captain Giovanni van Bronckhorst and midfielder Mark van Bommel.

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