Dutch move to 1974 final after outwitting Brazil

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On July 3 in history: Johan Cruyff stars against Brazil as Dutch claim final berth in Dortmund, West Germany, in 1974.

Even though its participation in the 1974 World Cup was its first since World War II, the Dutch team was one of the favorites. In a bruising encounter, the Dutch defeated defending champion Brazil to confirm a spot in the final against West Germany. The Dutch were spearheaded by perhaps the world’s best player at the time, Cruyff, who volleyed in at full stretch to give his team a 2-0 victory. The Dutch enthralled the world with their “Total Football,” a strategy that effectively did away with positions. Players were interchangeable on the pitch at any one time. In the end, their mastery wasn’t enough and the Dutch fell at the last hurdle to West Germany.

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