Orange fever is over. Yesterday Orange squad beat host country Brasil in, according to many people, an unnecessary match for the third place.
Lost match in semifinal
In the semifinal against Argentina at 9 July it was a tie after 30 minutes. NEDARG ended with a penalty shootouts, score 2 – 4. Many Dutch players cried. And the country was dellusional. They were so close.
The following day it was like The Netherlands had a national hangover. I felt it at the office. My colleagues were disappointed. The media talked about it.
There were not so many Internet memes after the losing match. However ING tv commercial referring to the lost semifinal 5 minutes directly after the match was too painful to watch.
Heineken’s website went offline the day after. It says “Dear Heineken drinkers, We are dissapointed and will be online again tomorrow. Heineken brewery, Zoeterwoude. For real emergency questions, click here”.
This was brilliant seen from communications point of view. A big, multinational brand which showed a human emotion and took the site offline just because the national football team lost a match.
Yesterday Orange squad played well against Brasil. They won 3 – 0. After the match Robin van Persie said “It feels good we won this unnecessary match for the third place. We won and ended this tournament without losing not any single match”.
Arjen Robben was also interviewed “It was a huge hangover losing from Argentina. We were so close. You can imagine the guys were not really enthousiastic to play this game. It was such a shame losing the semifinal (emotional with teary eyes) but the team was determined to win this match against Brasil. And we did”.
Watching those interviews confirms that in sport being nr 1 is the only thing that counts. However what the Oranje has achieved was remarkable. The team belongs to the best 4 of the world.
What I see is that Dutchies appreciate what their team did. This is in contrast to what most Dutch thought before the World Cup began. Louis van Gaal the trainer was heavily criticized due to his choice. He chose young, unexperience players. From 23 players only 5 are experienced. And the tactics Van Gaal used was unusual, it was new to Orange squad. I had heard this from my dear husband, a football fanatic. Not only he plays football three times a week, he also reads and watches all the matches, analysis etc.
So back to the Oranje. For non Dutch, third place on a World Cup tournament might seem disappointing. It is indeed disappointing but Dutchies are still proud and support their team.
Thank you for reading this chain post. Untill the next Orange fever!