THE HAGUE - The Dutch team has become Euro 2012's joke and could not count itself among the world's top footballing nations any more, the Dutch press said Monday, after an unexpected early exit against Portugal.
"The joke of the Euro 2012," said daily tabloid The Telegraaf adding that the much vaunted "miracle of Kharkiv" never happened after the Dutch were eliminated from Group B by a 2-1 loss to Portugal on Sunday evening.
"Taken off" the Telegraaf's simple headline said in bold letters on Monday, adding the "Orange have failed miserably" and asking the question "Bert, what now?" in reference to the Dutch team's coach Bert van Marwijk.
"Three matches, zero points. Never before has the Netherlands done this bad," said daily paper NRC next adding "seldom has a team, that was still number one on the ranking list last year, broken its reputation as quickly and thoroughly as the Orange did in the last months."
"A symbolic duel" said the left-leaning Volkskrant saying that the team's exit has left a "black mood."
"For the first time in history the Dutch team is coming home with three losses in a group," the paper added.
"The players' egos were too big," said Christian daily Trouw, adding it was "difficult to imagine how (coach) Van Marwijk could continue."
"Not for the first time the difference in dynamism, athletic ability and content of Dutch footballers as opposed to better foreign players showed," the paper said.
"The third loss of the Orange has caused the most pain," the daily tabloid Algemeen Dagblad said, adding "a stone-hard evaluation should follow with the knife on the table."
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