Ryan Babel Accuses 'Big Four' Of Costing The Netherlands Victory In The 2010 World Cup
Ryan Babel has launched a scathing attack on Wesley Sneijder, Robin van Persie, Arjen Robben and Rafael van der Vaart by accusing them of letting their egos run wild in the 2010 World Cup final.
Barcelona legend Andres Iniesta scored a dramatic late extra-time winner to hand Spain their first World Cup trophy in South Africa.
And Galatasaray forward Babel, 32, was part of the squad for the tournament, but he didn't make a single appearance in that year's World Cup.
The former Ajax and Liverpool player believes that the 'Big Four' were to blame for their disappointment in the final and insisted that they could have won with a more collective approach.
"You had the battle between the 'Big Four' at the time," he told Dutch football magazine Voetbal International.
"In my experience, they all wanted to be No.1.
"As strange as it sounds, I think this [Netherlands] side is more of a team. I don't feel we have egos right now.
"We all give each other the goal, the action or the pass. It's more a whole -- there isn't anyone who stands head and shoulders above the team.
"I remember that moment in the final, where Arjen Robben went [through on goal against] Iker Casillas.
"Casillas almost knocked him down; knowing Arjen he would normally just go down.
"If he had done that, we would have played against ten men for the rest of the game and you might win.
"But he really wanted to score. It's a detail, and I'm thinking out loud for a moment, but maybe Arjen wasn't thinking about the team interest at the time and just wanted to score.
"Perhaps that kind of thing was the five per cent [we lacked] to become world champions."
Babel has continued to play for his country since their World Cup failure in 2010 and has been called upon by current Netherlands boss Ronald Koeman during their Euro 2020 qualifying campaign.
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Featured Image Credit: PA