Tuesday, 10 September 2019

Four big egos cost Holland the 2010 World Cup, says Ryan Babel

Ryan Babel claims Holland could have clinched the 2010 World Cup if Robin van Persie, Wesley Sneijder, Arjen Robben and Rafael van der Vaart's egos weren't as big.

The Dutch, managed by Bert Van Marwijk in 2010, were defeated in the final by Spain following an extra-time winner by midfield maestro Andres Iniesta in South Africa.

And Babel, who didn't make an appearance in the tournament, believes Holland could have won the World Cup if the four cared more about their team.  

'You had the battle between the 'Big Four' at the time,' the former Liverpool winger told Voetbal International, referring to Sneijder, Van Persie, Robben and Van der Vaart.

'In my experience, they all wanted to be No 1. 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.

'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 per cent [we lacked] to become world champions.' 


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