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Holland, a finalist with a Barça flavour

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07.07.2010 11:31

Holland, a finalist with a Barça flavour

Roger Bogunyà

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.

vanbommel_uruguay.jpgFor 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

gio_sneijder.jpgAtletico 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 Cup final.

Coaches with a Barça past

Cocu_accix_Barxa_-_Mxlagax_18-4-04_.jpgFormer 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.
Holland, a finalist with a Barça flavour
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.

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