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Holland were agonisingly defeated in the final of the 2010 World Cup by Spain in extra-time

‘You had the battle between the “Big Four” at the time’: Ryan Babel claims the egos of Robin van Persie, Wesley Sneijder, Arjen Robben and Rafael van der Vaart prevented Holland from winning the 2010 World Cup

  • Holland were defeated by Spain in extra-time in the 2010 World Cup final
  • Andres Iniesta scored the winner to down Bert Van Marwijk’s side in South Africa
  • Ryan Babel has claimed there were four players with egos in that Holland squad
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Ryan Babel claims Holland could have clinched the 2010 World Cup if Robin van Persie, Wesley Sneijder, Arjen Robben and Rafael van der Vaart’s egos weren’t as big.

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The Dutch, managed by Bert Van Marwijk in 2010, were defeated in the final by Spain following an extra-time winner by midfield maestro Andres Iniesta in South Africa.

And Babel, who didn’t make an appearance in the tournament, believes Holland could have won the World Cup if the four cared more about their team.  

Holland were agonisingly defeated in the final of the 2010 World Cup by Spain in extra-time

Holland were agonisingly defeated in the final of the 2010 World Cup by Spain in extra-time

Robin van Persie (L), Wesley Sneijder (middle) and Rafael van der Vaart (R) were all blamed

Robin van Persie (L), Wesley Sneijder (middle) and Rafael van der Vaart (R) were all blamed

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Robin van Persie (L), Wesley Sneijder (middle) and Rafael van der Vaart (R) were all blamed

‘You had the battle between the ‘Big Four’ at the time,’ the former Liverpool winger told Voetbal International, referring to Sneijder, Van Persie, Robben and Van der Vaart.

‘In my experience, they all wanted to be No 1. As strange as it sounds, I think this [Netherlands] side is more of a team. 

‘I don’t feel we have egos right now. We all give each other the goal, the action or the pass. It’s more a whole – there isn’t anyone who stands head and shoulders above the team.

Spain went on to beat Holland in extra-time in South Africa to win the 2010 World Cup final

Spain went on to beat Holland in extra-time in South Africa to win the 2010 World Cup final

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Spain went on to beat Holland in extra-time in South Africa to win the 2010 World Cup final

‘I remember that moment in the final, where Arjen Robben went [through on goal against] Iker Casillas. Casillas almost knocked him down; knowing Arjen he would normally just go down. 

‘If he had done that, we would have played against 10 men for the rest of the game and you might win.

‘But he really wanted to score. It’s a detail, and I’m thinking out loud for a moment, but maybe Arjen wasn’t thinking about the team interest at the time and just wanted to score. 

‘Perhaps that kind of thing was the 5% [we lacked] to become world champions.’ 

Winger Ryan Babel claims there are no egos in the high-flying Holland team right now
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Winger Ryan Babel claims there are no egos in the high-flying Holland team right now

Winger Ryan Babel claims there are no egos in the high-flying Holland team right now