HOLLAND’S WORLD CUP 2010 – Oranje fans get ready!

For once in my life I’m in the right place at the right time. Maybe a certain football stadium in Johannesburg would be a better place to be on Sunday evening, but Amsterdam will do me fine. Even bigger TV screens are being installed in the pubs and the parks and the orange t-shirts are already being printed – “NEDERLAND WORLD CHAMPIONS 2010”.

Meanwhile the bakers are busy pouring gallons of orange icing onto vanilla slices, a confection nobody should ever put in their mouths other than for patriotic reasons. Red,white and blue flags are being printed in their thousands.

A psychologist appeared on TV to tell us that the ‘happiness level’ in Holland has now increased to 8.0, nearly level with Denmark, the happiest country in Europe with 8.2, even though their team didn’t make it through the preliminary stages. This spike in the average Dutch happiness level could in part be attributable to the mood of the researcher himself, who looked overjoyed to be interviewed on national television.

Spain is the team the Dutch will have to beat. Surprisingly, Spain and Holland have never met in a World or European Cup match. Ideally the Dutch would have liked revenge on losing semi-finalists and arch enemies Germany. (Don’t mention the war, or the time Germany came from behind to beat Johan Cruyff’s ‘total football’ team in the World Cup Final 1974.) But Spain it is. A while back, Real Madrid dropped two Dutch stars, Sneijder and Robben, as being surplus to requirements, so they’ll be out to show the Spaniards what a mistake that was.

When the Dutch national anthem ‘Wilhelmus’ is played before the match, pay attention to the strange lyrics. Oranje footballers are not renowned for their diction, and not all football fans are familiar with the Dutch language, so I’ll help you out… The folk song begins with the words ‘Wilhelmus of Nassau am I, of German blood’ and ends, ‘I am a free prince of Orange. I have always honoured the king of Spain’. No wonder the players will be mumbling their lines.

9 Comments

Filed under Holland, Sport

9 responses to “HOLLAND’S WORLD CUP 2010 – Oranje fans get ready!

  1. Edna Njio

    Had this been on Facebook, surely I would click like, like, like, like, like very much.
    Again, thank you for your ‘wit-writings’.

  2. Thanks, Edna. Maybe the Dutch government (when we eventually get one) could employ me to write a new national anthem. I could certainly improve on the national sports chant “Hup, Holland, hup!”

  3. Jenny Thompson

    Yes congratulations to the Dutch – and Kate is in Madrid as we speak soaking up the atmosphere on the other side. Enjoying the Tour de France blogs and your instructions to Lance. Cadel Evans did well on the cobblestones I see…
    Jenxx

  4. fiona

    excellent piece, richard. funny and educational – i have been reading it out loud to Finn to pass on the fact that Holland and Spain have never played each other in a World or European Cup match, as well as the words to the national anthem. Enjoy the final. Go the Dutch

    • Fiona, you may like to complete Finn’s education by reminding him that Holland and Spain have met previously, in the Eighty Years War, 1568-1648. The Dutch won 7-0, (7 being the number of provinces which then became independent from Spain). Don’t let anyone tell you surfing the net isn’t educational!

  5. The picture is priceless, Richard! You have an eye for the unusual.
    O, and please, do improve our national sports chant! We will need it.

    • I’ll put my mind to the Dutch sports chant, Mina, but I’ve got some work to do on the Australian one first. “Aussie, Aussie, Aussie, oi, oi, oi!” is the way it goes at present. I’m thinking maybe a new Australian sports chant should make mention of our unique marsupial wildlife, our surf beaches, our can-do mining industry and our friendly acceptance of people of all backgrounds and cultures, except for the ones we don’t like.

  6. Tsamina mina eh, eh
    Waka waka eh, eh
    Tsamina mina zangalewa
    This time for Africa

    bravo spain…
    spain will be the next champion..

    • Thanks. That already sounds much better than “Hup Holland” or “Aussie, Aussie, Aussie”! I still think it’s a shame that instead of fabulous African singing we’ve only heard the moan of vuvuzelas around the stadium. I agree Spain look better prospects, but it’s a football match, the Jabulani ball flies in mysterious ways, it’s a game between two teams and this time at the end, the Germans won’t win. Anything could happen!

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