"It was the first time we’d played a team with a thoroughly thought-out system, which they then put into practice. And we lacked a man like Gerd Muller. I’m continually surprised at how highly-regarded our team from back then still is today. The 1974 World Cup made Dutch football famous."
Johan Cruyff, Netherlands captain

"Going a goal down was good for us. The Dutch eased off and we were able to get into the match. And once you’ve relaxed your grip, it’s hard to recover the initiative."
Franz Beckenbauer, West Germany captain

"The Dutch had the better individuals, but the better team won the World Cup. By doing so, we partially repaid [national coach] Helmut Schoen for what he gave us as men."
Berti Vogts, West Germany defender

"The Dutch, who were clearly brimming with confidence, took the far from desirable role of favourites away from us. This confidence emanating from the Dutch camp, faithfully reported in every TV bulletin and newspaper article, gave us the perfect stimulus."
Helmut Schoen, West Germany coach

"We didn’t think losing was especially tragic at the time. After we got home, we celebrated the runners-up spot as if we’d won it. It only started hurting much later – and then it really hurt."
Arie Haan, Netherlands defender