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Dutch greeted with flowers and brass band

Written by: Staff

HINTERZARTEN, Germany, June 6 (Reuters) Netherlands were welcomed with flowers and a brass band when the World Cup finalists arrived in Germany today.

Coach Marco van Basten and his squad flew in to Lahr airport before travelling to their base in rural Hinterzarten where a large proportion of the town's residents left their houses to catch a glimpse of the players.

The squad's luxury hotel will be a perfect base camp for the Dutch, who are competing in their third major tournament on German soil.

In 1974, the concept of 'total football' took them to the final where the Dutch lost to the hosts.

Fourteen years later, van Basten scored five goals to lead the Dutch to the European championship title.

The Dreisam stadium in nearby Freiburg will be the training ground for Netherlands, who open their World Cup campaign against Serbia and Montenegro in Leipzig on Sunday.

Van Basten has injury concerns over Rafael van der Vaart, Philip Cocu, Wesley Sneijder and Giovanni van Bronckhorst.

Reuters SK VP0035

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