Netherlands coach Bert van Marwijk has said that he is relishing Friday's mouthwatering FIFA World Cup™ quarter-final against Brazil - and was quick to hand his side the tag of underdogs.
Van Marwijk's men head into the clash in Port Elizabeth on the back of four straight wins, including yesterday's 2-1 triumph over Slovakia. However, Brazil are the five-time world champions and looked impressive in brushing aside the challenge of Chile last night.
"I'm looking forward to this match," said Van Marwijk. "Against Brazil, perhaps we might be the underdogs for the first time in South Africa. But we are here for one reason, to get the big prize. We have to believe in it. People might have laughed at us when we said we were capable of winning the World Cup. But you have to show a real mentality, a constant focus. I think we are showing that."
The Dutch have shown plenty of flair in attack, coupled with strong defensive displays. "In all of the matches we have played so far, we have shown that we can control a match," added Van Marwijk. "We have scored seven times. We have been able to show how good we play.
Against Brazil, perhaps we might be the underdogs for the first time in South Africa. But we are here for one reason, to get the big prize.
"I think that our defence has done a wonderful job so far. We have conceded just two goals. (John) Heitinga, Giovanni van Bronckhorst and our goalkeeper (Maarten Stekelenburg) have done a great job. I think we are improving in every aspect but I would like to see everything converge into one match. We simply want to win and I don't think we are doing such a bad job."
The return of the Netherlands' talisman, Arjen Robben, against Slovakia was great news for Oranje fans. The Bayern Munich winger has recovered from a hamstring injury and showed in his first start of the FIFA World Cup how crucial he is for the Dutch after scoring his team's opener.
"It was important that he played for 70 minutes," said Van Marwijk. "I think he has just passed that fear factor, having recently returned from injury. It's great news to have Robben fit."
Van Marwijk sees similarities between Holland and Brazil and not just because Dunga's side have also won all of their games in the tournament en route to their meeting with Holland. "Brazil is a very mature team," he said. "They have stability. That is what they convey. I have talked about our positive form but we shouldn't get too big-headed. The Brazilians also convey this confidence, it is almost like they are invincible."