Official invented his own application of rules, says Dutch legend
Cruyff was part of the Dutch team in 1974 that introduced 'total football' to the world, but that vibrant attacking approach was far from the case on Sunday as a robust Netherlands team lost 1-0 to Spain.
Wesley Sneijder and Dirk Kuyt were the Oranje's only outfield players in their starting 11 not to be booked by referee Howard Webb, while Johnny Heitinga saw red in extra-time for a second bookable offence as the Dutch abandoned the philosophy synonymous with Cruyff's name.
Nigel de Jong and Mark van Bommel were also lucky to stay on the field with the Manchester City midfielder, in particular, fortunate to see out the tie after an horrendous kung-fu style kick to the chest of Xabi Alonso.
"Regrettably, sadly, they played very dirty. So much so that they should have been down to nine immediately, they made two ugly and hard tackles that even I felt the damage," he wrote in his column in El Periodico de Catalunya.
"This ugly, vulgar, hard, hardly eye-catching, lack of football style served the Dutch to unsettle Spain. If with this they got satisfaction, fine, but they ended up losing.