Wesley Sneijder sets the bar

… and the bar is set high.

I hadn’t written up much about the Euro 08 competition yet because aside from Turkey – Portugal, I hadn’t seen much that merited comment. And then Holland took the field against Italy. The first goal remains one that will generate pointless discussion for years, since it can be justified with a Supreme-Court level assessment of the rules of the game, but the second goal was as nice a counter-attack as you’ll ever see. Van Bronckhorst’s placement and pass, Kuyt’s perfect controlling header (I’m sorry about all the rude things I’ve said about you, Dirk), and Sneijder’s incredible volley.

The only reason that this hasn’t displaced Dennis Bergkamp’s goal against Argentina in 98 on my Dutch miracle goals list is that Bergkamp both controlled the pass and scored – but otherwise, I don’t see how you could pick between them.

Oranje!

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3 Responses

  1. That and Bergkamp’s goal was in the Quarterfinals of a World Cup rather than “just” a group match, importance matters.

    If you caught it, Zlatan’s goal against Greece was a cracker as well. The Spanish goals were class too but none up there with those two.

    But I still can’t get over how average the Dutch made the Italians look in this match. I’ve never seen Italy that discombobulated. Perhaps abandoning Total Football might not be such a bad idea, no matter what Cruijff thinks.

  2. Details details on the quarterfinals versus group play, Moin. I haven’t seen Zlatan’s goal yet (work and in-laws blocked my evening viewing last night) but I look forward to it.

    As for the dynamics of the Dutch – Italian match… it was startling. It was like the Italians didn’t quite know what to do, on all parts of the pitch.

  3. After cycling through all the clips that UEFA ordered removed from YouTube – that was very nice indeed. I suppose if you’re breaking a multi-year drought, you might as well do it in style.

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