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Offline davyjenny1

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From now on address him as: Sir Giovanni Van Bronckhorst
« on: July 13, 2010, 12:11:16 PM »
From :
Defeated Dutch honoured

The Hague - The captain and coach of the Dutch football team were knighted in the presence of the Prime Minister on Tuesday, who called the team an "inspiration" despite its 1-0 World Cup defeat by Spain.

"The Netherlands is proud of Oranje (Orange -- the colour and nickname of the national team)," premier Jan Peter Balkenende told the team at his official residence in The Hague, where he hosted them to coffee and cakes with orange icing in the garden decorated with orange balloons.

Balkenende, wearing an orange tie, oversaw as Sports Minister Ab Klink pinned medals on team coach Bert van Marwijk and captain Giovanni van Bronckhorst to mark them as Knights in the Order of Orange-Nassau.

The knighthoods are bestowed by Dutch Queen Beatrix.

"A fantastic achievement," said Klink as he decorated the two men in a reception broadcast life on public television.

Van Bronckhorst, retiring after the World Cup, said the disappointment was still heavy, but thanked the squad for a "good tournament", and dedicated the decoration to them.

Balkenende described the squad as "a disciplined collective with a mission", and "a source of inspiration".

"So near and yet so far," he said, adding the image of the Spanish goal "is engraved on all our retinas".

"It was a blow for the Netherlands, a blow for you as players, a blow for Orange supporters."

But Balkenende urged the footballers to pick themselves up and aim for the next World Cup. "Let's not wait another 32 years for a World Cup final. Revenge is waiting."

The team, which arrived back in the Netherlands on Monday afternoon, would next meet the Queen at her working palace elsewhere in The Hague, before departing for Amsterdam for a ceremonial boat parade on the canals expected to be witnessed by hundreds of thousands of supporters.
« Last Edit: July 13, 2010, 12:16:00 PM by davyjenny1 »
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