USA vs. Netherlands: 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. Follow @cnnsport “Step-by-step we developed a structure in which girls and women could find their own place so it’s not true that this success is coming out of the clouds,” Pauw, named Knight of the Royal Dutch Football Association in …