Visionary, philosopher and a mathematician on the pitch, Johann Cruyff was probably the greatest footballer Europe produced, certainly the one with the biggest impact on modern football. Not only was he a balletic footballer on the pitch, Cruyff had a knack of moulding simple statements into outstanding poetic quotes. With the tragic news of him passing away coming through earlier today, we look at some of his wittiest quotes and unravel the meaning behind them.

Defending Champions Japan gave newcomers the Netherlands a lesson in football on Tuesday, winning 2-1 to advance to a last-eight showdown with Australia at the Women’s World Cup. Saori Ariyoshi and Mizuho Sakaguchi scored in either half for the defending champions who are the only team left in Canada to have won all their matches. Kirsten Van de Ven headed in a consolation goal for the 12th-ranked Dutch in injury time, helped by an error from Japanese goalkeeper Ayumi Kaihori, who let the ball slip from her grasp. But the game in Vancouver’s BC Place Stadium was mostly one-way traffic in favour of the Japanese, who have mastered the speed provided by artificial turf being used for the first time at a World Cup. “It’s the best way to improve, a good team will learn a lot from this match,” said Dutch coach Roger Reijners. “You’re playing against the top in the world and things are moving really fast. It’s an enormous […]

The visitors took a surprise lead in the first half but goals from Klass-Jan Huntelaar, Ibrahim Afellay and Robin Van Persie settled the contest late in the second half. Netherlands coach Guus Hiddink said he always felt confident that his side would secure the win against the minnows in their Euro 2016 qualifying game although they were made to work really hard for it. “We can be satisfied. The only corner they had went in. Then we had to play against a wall of players. In the first half we suffered from that.” “We stayed calm during half-time. But if we kept playing like that, we would get there eventually. It was just a matter of scoring goals. I didn’t have the feeling we would lose points tonight.” Kazakhstan took a shock lead in the first half thanks to a Renat Abdulin header from the corner but second half substitute Klass-Jan Huntelaar restored parity just after the hour mark. Hiddink […]

Arjen Robben and Robin Van Persie left Guus Hiddink’s training session early raising concerns about possible injury ahead of Holland’s crucial Euro qualifier against Kazakhstan. Reports suggest the pair trained for half an hour with the main squad but left after that raising doubts about their fitness. There has been no official confirmation regarding this from the Dutch national camp but Van Persie’s sluggish start to the new campaign does raise concerns regarding his fitness. Van Persie has been showing signs of improvement with every match he is featuring in but is still not having the same influence he had in his title winning debut season with the club. The Manchester United striker was given an extended summer break by former Holland manager Louis Van Gaal following his contribution in the World Cup. While the break was no doubt fully deserved, it meant that Van Persie was short of match fitness during the start of the new Premier league season. […]

The day saw Australia go toe-to-toe with Holland in an exciting game that ended 3-2 in the Dutch side’s favor, while a teetering Spain were pushed out of the competition in a 2-0 defeat by Chile’s high intensity game. The Matchday also saw Cameroon conceded 4 unanswered goals to Croatia, in a game that say Alex Song red carded for an idiotic moment of madness.