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World Cup Interview

Makaay: Schweinsteiger? World class

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With 103 goals in 183 appearances for Bayern, he is one of the most prolific strikers ever to wear the Munich shirt. And he has expert knowledge of Dutch, German and Spanish football. He’s plied his trade far and wide. So spoke to Roy Makaay ahead the World Cup Final.

How does the former Oranje striker think the Holland v Spain Final will pan out? And what does he feel about Germany’s performance in the tournament? The 35-year-old, who recently ended his playing career at Feyenoord to start on a coaching career, reveals all.

Interview: Roy Makaay Roy, hopes of the dream Final between Germany and Holland are gone. Are you disappointed?
Makaay: “Holland being in the Final is brilliant. Of course, it would have been great if there had been a repeat of the 1974 encounter with Germany. But Holland against Spain doesn’t sound so bad either, does it?” What are the chances of the Dutch beating Spain in the Final?
Makaay: “It would have been equally tough against Germany. But if the Spanish play like they did in the semi-finals, it will be even harder. Nevertheless, I think the Dutch can hurt Spain. We’re better going forward than Germany.” Germany are the top scorers at the World Cup at the moment.
Makaay: “That’s true. But if you look at how Holland attack, and they’ve got Van der Vaart, Elia and Co on the bench… I know Bert van Marwijk in his role as a coach and I also know what he can do. I hoped that he’d be successful in building a team, and he’s done it. If somebody drops out, there’s always a perfect replacement. In Germany’s semi-final you could see how much they missed Müller. They couldn’t find a way through the Spanish defence. They played much too deep. I don’t know whether that was intentional or whether the Spanish forced them so far back.“ Where will Holland have to be better than Germany against Spain?
Makaay: “It was clear to see. It’s difficult if you play so deep. The Dutch will have to play higher up the pitch and make sure they take any chance that comes their way. Then they’ll have a chance against Spain. The Spaniards know how dangerous Holland can be up front. On top of that, Holland have more experienced holding midfielders in Van Bommel and De Jong than Germany do with Schweinsteiger and Khedira. Despite that, I have to admit that Schweinsteiger did all he could to turn the game against Spain. Along with Müller, he’s been the best German player at the World Cup. I sent him a text message to congratulate him after the Argentina game.”