The Dutch press was united Monday in hailing the performance of their national team, the 'Oranje', in routing Yugoslavia 6-1 in Sunday's Euro 2000 quarterfinals, and in particular Patrick Kluivert.
"Oranje, what a performance!" was the front page headline in the Telegraaf. "Kluivert, man of the match with four, no three goals" said the left leaning Volkskrant, a reference to the fact that the third of Kluivert's four goals was expected to be classed as an own goal.
For the Telegraaf Holland "gave Yugoslavia a lesson in football," observing that "for the first time they showed the mark of a real champion".
The paper added that, the "Oranje gave the Dutch fans in Rotterdam one of the finest matches ever played by an international side."
It was a similar theme across at the conservative Algemeen Dagblad.
"Ovation for Oranje" the paper gushed, going on: "In an astounding display the 11 Dutch players were undeniably carrying the look of European champions. They've reached the point of no-return."
The Trouw saw in the performance "the signs of a strong and homogeneous team" and the paper drew a comparison with the Dutch side which after a poor start matured to lift the 1988 European championships.
"After a languid start the team has become strong...with exploding stars like Kluivert, Davids and Bergkamp."
The Volkskrant dwelt on Kluivert's goal tally, officially given, as four by Spanish referee Garcia-Aranda but according to the player himself one of those was an own goal by Dejan Govedarica.
The paper quoted Kluivert as saying "I know that I didn't score this goal. But if everyone says that I did, and if the referee has given it to me, then why not!"
UEFA ruled on Monday that in fact it was an own goal leaving Kluivert with a hat-trick.
In conclusion the Volkskrant wrote that "the joy (of Kluivert) sits well with this incredible night in Rotterdam during which the Netherlands achieved a record result with Kluivert earning all the superlatives possible."
Euro 2000 Quarterfinals Scorers
5 - Patrick Kluivert (Ned), Savo Milosevic (Yug)
3 - Zlatko Zahovic (Slo), Sergio Conceicao (Por), Nuno Gomes (Por)
2- Thierry Henry (Fra), Hakan Sukur (Tur), Alan Shearer (Eng), Alfonso (Spa), Frank De Boer (Ned), Boudewijn Zenden (Ned), Vladimir Smicer (Cze), Francesco Totti (Ita), Filippo Inzaghi (Ita), Marc Overmars (Ned), Gaizka Mendieta (Spa), Youri Djorkaeff (Fra)
1 - Bart Goor (Bel), Emile Mpenza (Bel), Johan Mjallby (Swe), Antonio Conte (Ita), Okan Buruk (Tur), Laurent Blanc (Fra), Sylvain Wiltord (Fra), Viorel Moldovan (Rom), Mehmet Scholl (Ger), Paul Scholes (Eng), Steve McManaman (Eng), Luis Figo (Por), Joao Pinto (Por), Steffen Iversen (Nor), Miran Pavlin (Slo), Ljubinko Drulovic (Yug), Stefano Fiore (Ita), Karel Poborsky (Cze), Ronald de Boer (Ned), Costinha (Por), Raul (Spa), Joseba Etxeberria (Spa), Luigi di Biagio (Ita), Henrik Larsson (Swe), Alessandro Del Piero (Ita), Cristian Chivu (Rom), Michael Owen (Eng), Dorinel Munteanu (Rom), Ioan Ganea (Rom), Dejan Govedarica (Yug), Munitis (Spa), Slobodan Komljenovic (Yug), Christophe Dugarry (Fra), David Trezeguet (Fra), Zinedine Zidane (Fra).
1 - Dejan Govedarica (Yug) – (Several Sources)
© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)