Though the Netherlands took some degree of revenge on Spain for the 2010 World Cup final by mercilessly beating them 5–1 in their first match of the 2014 World Cup, some members of the Dutch public still seem to be holding a grudge. So when Spain visited for Tuesday’s friendly, they targeted the man who scored the goal that denied them their first ever World Cup title five years ago, Andres Iniesa, with jeers when he came off the bench late in the match.
While most people would write this off as a natural part high level competition, Netherlands manager Guus Hiddink took offense. And after his side’s morale boosting 2–0 win, he decided to express his somewhat odd feelings on the matter. It didn’t seem to be an April Fool’s joke, either.
From ESPN FC:
Speaking after this week’s result, Hiddink told reporters: “Such a player, such a world-class player. The fact that he was booed should make the crowd feel deeply ashamed.”
When a reporter mentioned Iniesta’s World Cup-winning goal, Hiddink sarcastically questioned the Spain star’s right to score before adding: “He’s a fantastic player and a great person. That was really inappropriate, and shameless.”
Already testing the patience of Dutch supporters as the Netherlands sit third in their Euro 2016 qualifying group behind the Czech Republic and Iceland, scolding fans for jeering the man who crushed their World Cup dream in extra time of the final probably won’t boost Hiddink’s popularity right now.
Granted, Iniesta is a brilliant player and, by all accounts, a wonderful person, but even Andres Iniesta himself would surely find such an expression of disapproval to be within reason.
In short: Guus Hiddink needs to chill.