One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
An attacking style of play in which every outfield player is able to play in any position as required during the course of a game.
- ‘I'm hoping that he dishes out some similar lessons in total football.’
- ‘Brought up on the total football ethic sweeping through Holland, he was born and bred on exciting fluid football.’
- ‘His performance was as close to total football as one will see at this level.’
- ‘They played a version of the total football that the Dutch were famous for.’
- ‘Although the four Brazilians had agreed to play total football, he felt that his teammates had abandoned him on the right side of the field.’
- ‘The tournament was set alight by a brilliant Dutch team playing Total Football.’
- ‘The orange-shirted side played total football to silence their many critics and post out a warning to all that there's life in the 'old dogs' yet.’
- ‘To transform a so-called boring team into a complete total football team, he must be some sort of genius.’
- ‘The players underestimated the qualities of their opponents, whose 2-1 extra-time victory ushered in the era of total football.’
- ‘The man who gave us the "total football" style of play remains an icon.’
1970s: translation of Dutch totaalvoetbal. The style was originally associated with Ajax FC of Amsterdam and the Dutch national team.
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