Robben plans to stop Spain

Germany failed to get to grips with Spain’s dominant possession in the semi-final and paid the price when Carles Puyol powered home a late winner.


Even the German camp acknowledged its side sat back too far, allowing Xavi and Andres Iniesta to dictate the game, ensuring their opponent went long periods without the ball.

Robben does not believe his team-mates will make the same mistake.

“We will defend from the front,” he said. “No-one here feels they are too special to get their hands dirty.

“I was really surprised with how freely Germany let Spain play. We have to start pressing them earlier, and far higher up the field.”

Key to the Netherland’s chances of disrupting Spain’s midfield will be the performance of Mark van Bommel.

The Bayern Munich midfielder has been criticised for his robust approach and a couple of challenges in the semi-final win over Uruguay – when he was eventually booked for kicking the ball away – have come under particular scrutiny.

However, coach Bert van Marwijk does not see a problem.

“I don’t agree with what people are saying,” said the Netherlands coach.

“The yellow card on Tuesday was his first in the entire competition. He has shown a lot of discipline in his play.”

History beckons and Amsterdam is waiting to party.

Having won all eight games – including two defeats of Scotland – to reach South Africa and six more to get to the final, the men tasked with wearing those distinctive orange shirts are determined not to let anyone down now.

However, Robben is not promising flair and panache, as was the case when the Netherlands first contested the final in the ‘total football’ era of Rinus Michels and Johan Cruyff.

“I would much prefer to win a very ugly game than lose a beautiful one,” Robben said.

“We can still play attractive football but we can always rely on our good organisation as well.

“If you are organised, you know one goal could be enough, which has been the case so far.

“The point is, we are in a World Cup final. From now on how you actually play no longer matters.

“Of course, the intent is there to play good football but the result is far more important.

“We have heard enough of talk about how our football is very nice. But it gets you nowhere. We want to achieve something.”


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