How Dutch Culture Affects Its Football/Soccer

Football or Soccer as it is known in America is the most popular sport and is played around the world. The Dutch are one of the best teams in the world, and the reason for that is the strategy called “total football.” The principal behind total football is that every player on the field is able to play in every position.  Therefore players are able to switch roles seamlessly and control the area. This allows for the fluid attacking football that makes the Dutch so good. Legends such as Johan Cruyff and the Ajax teams of the past were able to use total football and superb talent to great effect and win numerous trophies.

Watching old replays of past Ajax teams and the Dutch national team, it is evident to see that the Dutch use the space available on the pitch extremely well to the point it’s almost instinctive and are able to this reading of spaces to push forward and defend well. I believe that their natural reading of the space available and their positioning stems from the way the foundations of culture and the architecture of Amsterdam and the Netherlands are built upon. The swampy nature of the land in the Netherlands makes it very hard to expand, and the constant need for space is evident. Because of that, the Dutch are excellent as using the space available to their advantage. This shows in the architecture and the culture of the Dutch. The Dutch always need to innovate and plan for the future because of their landscape. The need to innovate, the ability to plan ahead, and the natural reading of spaces all show in the way the Dutch play football/soccer and their philosophy “total football.”


One thought on “How Dutch Culture Affects Its Football/Soccer

  1. I knew you’d appreciate these readings, being a soccer fan! Can you push this connection –the use of space– more specifically? In what specific ways does Winner articulate that use of space? What do you think of his claims of its “Dutchness”–does he push his point too far? How specifically can we analogize between soccer players and, say, Vermeer? Where exactly do you see these analogies in specific game films &, say, in specific paintings?


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