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New Dutch style harder to beat

LAUSANNE, Switzerland Netherlands have become more difficult to beat since they changed their playing style, striker Ruud van Nistelrooy said on Friday.

The Dutch, who face world champions Italy in their opening Group C match at Euro 2008 on Monday, were a force in the 1970s playing 'total football' which relied on versatility.

However, Van Nistelrooy said Netherlands were now more open to other playing styles than just the system adopted by Rinus Michels when playmaker Johan Cruyff was at his peak.

"In the Netherlands we were indoctrinated with a certain vision of football and that became our style," he told reporters. "But there fake Van Cleef & Arpels classic jewelry are more roads that lead to Rome.

"We always said a lot about our way of playing but the German or Italian style has paid more dividends in the past."

Netherlands reached two World Cup finals in the 1970s before winning Euro '88 helped by five Marco van Basten goals.

But Italy and Germany have been far more successful.

The Italians have won four World Cups and a European Championship while the Germans have been world and European champions three times in each tournament.


The Dutch have thus abandoned their free flowing 'old school' approach using wingers and players constantly changing positions in a bid to dominate opposing teams.

"It is good that we made the change as we hardly conceded any goals in qualifying for these finals," said Van Nistelrooy.

The system has evolved since Van Basten took over after Euro 2004 and they now play a less exciting brand of football that has been repeatedly criticised by the Dutch media.

But Van Nistelrooy is happy to spearhead a 4 2 3 1 system that relies on two holding players in front of a four man defence with three creative midfielders and a central striker.

He only played four of their qualifying matches, scoring twice, having been sidelined after clashing with Van Basten at the end of the World Cup finals in 2006.

But the Real Madrid striker, joint second top scorer at Euro 2004 with four goals, has left that all behind and is now looking to the future starting with Italy.

Van Nistelrooy said he respected Italian defenders, having played against many van cleef and arpels butterfly necklace replica of them in the Champions League, adding that even without the injured Fabio Cannavaro they had no weaknesses.

"If an opponent is vulnerable you can try to anticipate fake clover necklace certain weaknesses but on Monday we will get nothing. They are just not vulnerable," he said. "So we can focus on our own qualities and see how we can win or not lose."

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