Former Liverpool winger Ryan Babel has spoken out about four big ego’s that cost the Dutch national team, their best chance of World Cup glory.
The 2010 World Cup in South Africa, saw an all European final between Spain and the Netherlands.
A goal from Anders Iniesta four minutes from the end of extra time gave the Spaniards a 1-0 victory.
Ryan Babel claims things could have been so very different for Bert Van Marwijk’s team if there was not a power struggle between superstar players and their egos.
In an interview with Voetbal International reported by the Daily Mail, he names and shames four Dutch legends and the negative impact they had on the team when they were needed the most.
“You had the battle between the ‘Big Four’ at the time, Sneijder, Van Persie, Robben, and Van der Vaart.”
‘In my experience, they all wanted to be No 1.”
He describes a moment where he saw the difference in the players regular game.
“I remember that moment in the final, where Arjen Robben went [through on goal against] Iker Casillas.”
“Casillas almost knocked him down; knowing Arjen he would normally just go down.”
“If he had done that, we would have played against 10 men for the rest of the game and you might win.”
“But he really wanted to score. It’s a detail, and I’m thinking out loud for a moment, but maybe Arjen wasn’t thinking about the team interest at the time and just wanted to score.”
“Perhaps that kind of thing was the five percent [we lacked] to become world champions.”
He feels that with the talk of a new generation of Dutch success around the corner, this new team may be able to complete the job because those same problems don’t exist.
“As strange as it sounds, I think this [Netherlands] side is more of a team.”
“I don’t feel we have egos right now. We all give each other the goal, the action or the pass.”
“It’s more a whole – there isn’t anyone who stands head and shoulders above the team.”