The Netherlands and Argentina meet Wednesday in the 2014 World Cup semifinals. The game is obviously a huge deal on the world soccer landscape being how it’s a rematch of the contentious 1978 final and pits two of the perennial power nations against each other for the right to play Germany on Sunday. Admittedly, that 1978 game was played before I was even the proverbial twinkle in my father’s eye. So for me, this rematch immediately brings me back to the Fourth of July in 1998 when the two nations met in Marseille in the World Cup quarterfinals.
Dennis Bergkamp’s 89-minute winner is still one of the best goals I’ve ever seen happen in real time. I distinctly remember thinking to myself, “that really happened? That counts?” (Note: I was not a very cool customer back then — or now, frankly.)
The goal itself is something to marvel at 16 years later, as Bergkamp plucks the long pass from Frank de Boer out of midair, and smacks it in past Carlos Roa — all with his right foot — sending the Dutch announcer into hysteria (and Jack Edwards if you watch the whole clip above). We’ve seen similar attempts and movements by Arjen Robben in Brazil these last couple weeks, albeit with the much-loathed Dutchman only using his left foot. The movement to trap the ball Robben used vs. Spain is eerily similar to Bergkamp’s, as was the long pass from Daley Blind.
Anyways, as Tony Soprano said, “Remember when is the lowest form of communication,” so I’ll leave you with a clip of Ariel Ortega head-butting Edwin van der Sar from earlier in the match.
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