Thursday, March 03, 2005

Rinus Michels, De Generaal

Rinus Michels died today after complication following a heart surgery. He was one of the best football trainers ever and he will be missed.

In 1974 the Dutch team took everybody by surprise at the World Cup. They played total football where every player can play in almost every position and they were attacking beautifully with Johan Cruijff as the mastermind on the pitch. But outside the pitch it was Rinus Michels who was the mastermind. He basically created total football, a term which is now glued to the Dutch football style, a style which in fact does not exist anymore. The Dutch should have won the World Cup in 1974, they were the better team but in the final lost to Germany.

In 1988 Michels took Holland to another historical moment. This time by winning the European Championship. With Ruud Gullit and Marco van Basten, Michels masterminded the victory that eluded him 12 years before. I can still remember seeing him at the side of the pitch, raising his fist in his coat after San Marco scored that beautiful goal (always will be the most beautiful goal scored ever) in the final.

I saw Michels in Lausanne a year ago when Holland was having a friendly match against Faroe Island.

It's an unfortunate loss for the football world.

Maybe one day San Marco will reach the heights that Michels achieves. I'm praying.


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