Dirk Kuyt is confident Holland are finally about to reach the end of their long journey to World Cup glory.
Beaten finalists in 1974 and 1978, the Dutch get their third shot at football’s greatest prize at Soccer City on Sunday when they will tackle either Germany or Spain following last night’s 3-2 defeat of Uruguay.
And Kuyt is determined to ensure it is third time lucky for the ’Oranje’.
“After a long journey we are in the final,” said the Liverpool star.
“We are so close to writing history. This is the third time we have reached the final. Now we have to win it.”
Kuyt admitted it was difficult to put his emotions into words at the final whistle.
Holland had gone in front thanks to a blistering strike from captain Giovanni van Bronckhorst, only to be pegged back by Diego Forlan just before half-time.
For a decent period in the second half, the South Americans looked the more likely winners.
However, just as it appeared there was no way through for the Dutch, Wesley Sneijder’s incredible year took another twist when he threaded a shot through a crowd of bodies and into the Uruguay net.
Three minutes later, Kuyt crossed for Arjen Robben, whose precise header also went in off the post, and Holland were through.
“What has happened is unbelievable. It is a bit unreal,” said Kuyt.
“We felt before the tournament we had the quality in the team to win it but now it is an incredible feeling.”
For Sneijder, the emotions are magnified.
The midfielder may be a contender for the world player of the year prize after following up his superb treble-winning club campaign with Inter Milan by scoring five times on Holland’s march to the final.
He has now drawn level with Spain’s David Villa in the race for the Golden Boot, although he accepts the prize Holland will compete for this weekend is the biggest of all.
“It was a tough fight and toward the end we complicated matters,” he said.
“But on Sunday we play in the World Cup final. I have to get used to that.
“We are so close. There is nothing bigger than the World Cup.”