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A meteoric rise? Dutch World Cup success was decades in the making

Lyon, France (CNN)As a child growing up in Amsterdam, Vera Pauw would run up and down the sidelines of a football pitch following the ball, pretending to be playing on the same team as her two brothers whose games she would always watch. With no girls team around to join, she had to indulge in make-believe. Until her late teenage years, she would join them for a kickabout on the streets and take part in impromptu matches with their friends. It was an upbringing which gave former Netherlands coach Pauw, who in 2009 guided her country to its first major tournament, the vision to create the blueprint which serves as the foundation for the current success of the Dutch women's national team, the reigning champions of Europe and, possibly by Sun ...
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