Discipline and Robben

by Aleksandar Hemon | July 2, 2010

It turned out that discipline made the difference between Holland and Brazil, but it was Brazil that lost their nerve and fell apart. I guess Robben got to them--he did not have a single shot at the goal, did not pass a single ball into the box and generally did very little other than flopping and annoying the Brazilians. And in that way, he did his job. I bet his own teammates despise him, grateful though they may be.

Melo had a good game, until his own goal, then he did not cover the shortest man on the pitch for the second Dutch goal, then he stepped on Robben--not quite an act of self-destruction as Zidane's, but one of the greater ones in my memory.

For those of us who love soccer, this was a game for the ages. Not for fancy footwork, nor for great goals, but for the sheer drama and tragedy of it. I had tears in my eyes watching the Brazilians leaving the (awful) pitch. The great soccer games reach a plane that is well beyond entertainment. 

Source URL: http://www.newrepublic.com//blog/world-cup/76015/discipline-and-robben