Holland, a finalist with a Barça flavour
There’s a definite Barça flavour to World Cup finalist Holland. On the playing side there are two former Barça stars, Gio van Bronckhorst and Van Bommel, plus Frank de Boer and Phillip Cocu on the coaching staff.
For Barça fans the current Holland squad will bring back some happy memories of the
Champions League final in Paris in 2006. Van Bronckhorst and Van Bommel both took part in that
match and on Tuesday, Giovanni van Bronckhorst opened the scoring in the first semi-final against
Uruguay with a 35-yard thunderbolt that could well end up as one of the goals of the tournament.
Van Bronckhorst has already announced that he’ll be retiring at the end of the competition.
Sneijder and Robben make it three
Atletico Madrid’s Diego Forlán equalized for Uruguay in similar fashion and
the match was evenly balanced until Wesley Sneijder put the Dutch side ahead again – with Van
Persie possibly offside. Robben made it 3-1 before Maxi Pereira pulled one back for the South
Americans in injury time. However, it was too late to stop Holland reaching their third ever World
Coaches with a Barça past
Former Barça players Van Bronckhorst and Van Bommel are regulars in the
starting line-ups of Dutch coach Bert Van Marwijk. Meanwhile, sitting next to Van Marwijk on the
coaches’ bench are two more with a Barça past, Frank de Boer and Phillip Cocu.
Frank de Boer played for Barça from 1998 to 2003, and Phillip Cocu, from 1998 to 2004, and
for a while captained the team.
Cáceres, debut with defeat
Uruguayan Martin Cáceres, who is still officially a Barça player, played his first game of the
tournament against Holland due to the absence of first-choice left back Fucile. He was charged with
stopping Robben. He saw a yellow card for dangerous play in the first half.
Cáceres, who was on loan to Juventus last season, is still a Barça player although the
Club’s coaching staff will not be including him in the squad for next season.