Netherlands can repeat success of 1988, says Muhren

June 7th, 2012 - 5:28 pm ICT by IANS  

The Hague, June 7 (IANS) Arnold Muhren, who helped the Netherlands win the 1988 European Football Championship, says the new Dutch generation can repeat the feat in the 2012 edition beginning Friday.

In the early ’70s, Muhren was part of the Ajax squad that reigned Europe, and after spells at FC Twente, Ipswich Town and Manchester United he returned to Ajax at the age of 34. Three years later, he was member of the team that became European champions.

“I must say I am one of the few to have played with such great players,” Muhren told Xinhua.

“At first the generation with Johan Cruyff, Piet Keizer, Johan Neeskens and others. Later, I had the privilege to play together with Ruud Gullit, Marco van Basten, Frank Rijkaard.”

“When I returned to Ajax, the club had a very young group. Dennis Bergkamp was one of them at a certain moment. To see these boys grow up gives an enormous satisfaction, that I have contributed to their development.”

“In 1988, we had a combination of players who all had something extra,” Muhren declared.

Muhren the team in 1988 was a balanced one.

“If you want to have a good team, you need a good balance and that’s what we had. We had great defenders, with backs Berry van Aerle and Adri van Tiggelen who was actually not playing on his favourite position, but we did a great job.”

“And Frank Rijkaard, who I think was the best player in the tournament. We had a midfield with everything in it, the toughness of Jan Wouters, the running ability of Erwin Koeman and forwards who could decide matches. The team was actually a great team with different characters but also a team that was full of balance.”

Muhren is positive about the chances of the current team. “They have proven themselves by reaching the World Cup final with players with extra quality,” he said.

“Of course, we are not alone now. Spain and Germany also have good teams. It is important that we stay fit.”

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