“They took off their bathing suits, we joined in.” Football players dirty framed before the World Cup final

Tournament favorites had to urgently justify themselves to their wives.

Johan Cruyff with his wife / Photo: © Personal archive of Johan Cruyff

In the 70s, the Dutch national team made the whole world fall in love with them. Few might resist the total football of the “orange” under the leadership of Rinus Michels. By the 1974 World Cup, the team approached the status of favorites and confidently reached the final. However, before the most important match in the history of the country, the players managed to get into a loud scandal.

A few days before the game with the German national team, journalists caught the Dutch … at an alcohol party with half-naked models.

After that, married players were no longer up to football!

Total Football

In 1973, the Dutch national team for the first time since 1938 was able to qualify for the finals of the World Cup. To prepare the team for the tournament, the country’s football federation invited Rinus Michels to the post of head coach, who decided to combine this post with work at Barcelona.

Moreover, from 1965 to 1971, Michels coached Ajax Amsterdam, whose players formed the basis of the Netherlands national team. Michels led the Ajaxids to the title of champions of the Netherlands four times, and before leaving for Barça he took the Champions Cup (now the Champions League) with the team.

No wonder that before the start of the World Cup, the Dutch team, which included the legendary Johan Cruyff, was considered the favorite of the tournament. Michels’ innovative “total football” following Ajax might not take root in Barcelona, ​​but for the national team of the Netherlands it was ideal. At the start of the World Cup, the Oranges confidently beat the teams of Uruguay (2:0) and Bulgaria (4:1), but unexpectedly stumbled in the match with the Swedes (0:0).

Such a wake-up call suggested that in the second round the Dutch might sag in games with more serious opponents, but the misfire only spurred the players on. In the next three matches, the Netherlands alternately took out the national teams of Argentina (4:0), East Germany (2:0) and Brazil (2:0), without missing a single ball.

In the final, the “oranges” faced a confrontation with the German national team, which went its way to the match for gold more modestly. In this regard, the Dutch team was considered the favorite in the final confrontation. However, this status probably did not affect the team’s players in the best way. A few days before the final, the Dutch got into trouble.

Unsports party

Five days before the final match of the 1974 World Cup, the German newspaper BILD published an article detailing how a stormy party took place at the hotel where the Dutch national team lived. According to the publication, at this event, several star players of the Netherlands national team were seen having fun by the pool with alcoholic drinks in the company of semi-naked models.

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BILD claimed to have photographic evidence, but neither then nor years later did a German newspaper publish anything of the sort. At a press conference, Michels denied everything, convincing journalists that this story was part of a German information attack on an upcoming rival. The same opinion was expressed by the players of the Netherlands national team, who had to justify themselves to their wives. Especially following the statement of one of the players of the team, Rene van de Kerckhoff.

— A pool party? We went to the hotel pool and there were some girls there. They went swimming, took off their bathing suits, and we joined. It was a good party,” said Rene.

Rainer Bonhoef and René van de Kerkhoef / Photo: © dpa / Global Look Press

After the incident, the Dutch national team might well have broken down psychologically, but they started quite cheerfully in the final match once morest Germany. Already in the second minute, the Orange managed to earn a penalty, which was confidently converted by Johan Neskens.

However, such a slap in the face at the very beginning of the meeting did not bother the German team. The German team showed character and scored two goals once morest the Dutch in the first half. This was enough to achieve the main goal – to win with a score of 2:1 and win the World Cup.

Despite the defeat in the final, many experts of that time called the Netherlands national team the best team in the 1974 World Cup, and its main star Johan Cruyff was recognized as the best player in the tournament.

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