MADRID (AFP) - Former Dutch superstar Johan Cruyff on Monday slammed the style of play of his compatriots during Sunday's World Cup final against Spain as "dirty" and "ugly".

Cruyff, a losing finalist at the 1974 World Cup, wrote in the Catalan daily El Periodico that the Dutch showed themselves to be particularly aggressive on the pitch and played "appallingly and sadly in a very dirty manner".

The former Ajax and Barcelona player lamented the style as "ugly, vulgar, hard, inpenetrable," adding that Spain deserved to win even if they played in a "more individual than collective fashion".

Cruyff, 63, also had harsh words for English referee Howard Webb, whom he said should have "sent off two Dutch players", before giving defender John Heitinga his marching orders at the end of extra time in the 1-0 defeat.

Cruyff had expressed his admiration for the Dutch team in an interview with the daily De Telegraaf on the eve of the World Cup final.

He had hailed "the remarkable work" achieved by coach Bert van Marwijk, praising him for having "succeeding in building such a strong team".