Brandts earned 28 caps and scored five goals for the Netherlands national football team and played in the 1978 FIFA World Cup. In a second-round match against Italy, he became the only player to score goals for both teams in the same match in the World Cup. He scored an own goal in the 18th minute, and then scored the equalizer for the Netherlands in the 50th minute. His teammate Arie Haan eventually scored the winning goal, giving the Netherlands a 2–1 win.
Halfway season 2007–2008, Brandts was informed that his contract as head trainer of NAC-Breda would not be extended, despite the best results (3rd, Eredivisie) NAC-Breda has seen for a long time. This decision was not taken lightly by the NAC-Breda supporters, despite all the complaints the NAC-top directors went ahead with their plan. And so Brandts was replaced by Robert Maaskant at the beginning of the 2008–2009 season.
He was appointed as the coach of Rah Ahan in summer 2009. He had a few difficult months in Rah Ahan where there were many bad decisions against his team and he lost important points in many matches in the last minutes of the matches so he could not get good results and the team dropped nearly to the relegation zone. The club decided to sack him as the coach in 12 December 2009.