Dutch captain Giovanni van Bronckhorst defended his team for not playing "beautiful" football on Tuesday, saying they were in South Africa to win the FIFA World Cup™ whatever way they can.
In contrast to sides like Argentina and Brazil, and even a rejuvenated Germany, the Netherlands' style has not been seen as quite so easy on the eye. But Van Bronckhorst said it was more important to achieve their goal of winning the country's first FIFA World Cup than to impress with the way they go about it.
"Many teams at this tournament have said we haven't been playing beautiful football, but we have done well in the group phase," said the veteran defender and Feyenoord star. "Every game, you want to play well, the most important thing now is that we win matches.
"In the past, we have started well and then gone on to lose, this time we are much closer and full of confidence. Of course, we want to win with beautiful football, but it is more important we win matches. This team always wants to play good football, but sometimes it is not possible."
He added that it had become harder as the tournament progressed to turn on the style, hinting that Tuesday's semi-final against Uruguay in Cape Town would be more of the same. "It is becoming harder as we are in the last four, our opponents will be tough," he said. "If we win with beautiful football, great, but we would be happier with a victory."