#235 Totaalvoetbal: the Creativity of Dutch Football

Football is surely the most favorite sport around the world. Some major football countries develop their own fashions of playing this game, for instances: Italy’sCatenaccio and Brazil’s Jogo Bonito. But until now, Dutch’s Totaalvoetbal (Total Football in English) is my favorite style of playing football game.
I initially thought that Total Football means ‘attack, attack, and attack’ tactic. Eventually I understand that Total Football will be best translated that all players are comfortable and proficient to exchange and play in any positions in the match. Defenders may undertake the offense, and forwards are encouraged to press opponent players. As a simple conclusion, Total Football is ‘all attack – all defend’ style.
Back to Total Football history, its founding father was Rinus Michel which formerly well-known as Ajax and Dutch national team manager. His disciple, Johann Cruyff was the backbone of Dutch’s Total Football of his time. Both of them contributed towards the Ajax’s glory in the early 1970s.
In contrary to Total Football concept, there was also Italy’s Catenaccio, a famous defensive fashion of playing football. Catenaccio installs strong defenders which practice tight man-to-man marking towards the forward players. The defense line is then strengthened by a sweeper as an ultimate cover for the defense-line.
Total Football engineered a creative approach to overcome the Catenaccio. Since Total Football players are all-round types, they will attack and defend in a dynamic stream. Should the forwards are tightly guarded by the opponent’s centerback, his teammates will soon take the forwards’ role to attack. As the result, this dynamic offense will create confusion, even in a rather disciplined man-marking defender. Defenders’ guarding may be devastated, and finally the defense line will be broken.
Easily explained as a theory, technically Total Football requires high-level of individual skills, physical endurance, and of course sound team work. Those qualities will assure that the ‘flow of attack and defense’ runs well and smoothly.
Total Football achieved its glorious victory against Catenaccio as showed in the final of 1972 European Cup when Ajax defeated Internazionale with 2-0. Another victory was the second leg of 1973 European Super Cup when Ajax totally destroyed AC Milan with 6-0 score. Nowadays Total Football is also the root of Tiki-Taka style which developed by Cruyff when he coached Barcelona.
As conclusion, Total Football is a style of playing football which suits the concept of football game itself: combination of skills, endurance, teamwork, and great entertainment for the spectators!
– ditulis oleh G. Prabu Edward

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