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Cruyff: Clasico rivalry may affect Spain

SoccerNews in La Liga 8 Jun 2012

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Netherlands great Johan Cruyff believes Spain’s Euro 2012 campaign could be derailed by the rivalry between Real Madrid and Barcelona.

Since Jose Mourinho became coach at the Santiago Bernabeu in May 2010, the two clubs’ Clasico clashes have produced a number of vicious spats between the players and coaching staff.

And Cruyff, who spent five years at Camp Nou as a player and eight years as head coach, believes the bitterness between the two camps could be detrimental to Spain’s chances of retaining their Euro crown.

“Spain have a very good team, but coach Vicente del Bosque has his hands full with the large wedge that Jose Mourinho drove between the Real Madrid and Barcelona players,” he told De Telegraaf.

“There is no favourite, there are many strong teams. It’s interesting, this time in particular, that the qualities of individual players do not say anything about the team.

“Portugal are a good example. You see some of the names, and you’d expect a huge team but in one way or another, they do not stand out as a team.”

The Netherlands have been drawn alongside Germany, Portugal and Denmark, and Cruyff feels that Group B will be wide open at the tournament in Poland and Ukraine.

“The Germans are, of course, a very good team. They may have lost during their build-up, but that means nothing. The Germans have only become dangerous.

“Meanwhile Denmark are certainly not weak. That’s the beauty of Netherlands’ group, nobody knows who will win.”

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