Netherlands national football team
The Flying Dutchmen
|Association||Koninklijke Nederlandse Voetbalbond (KNVB)|
|Head coach||Guus Hiddink|
|Asst coach||Danny Blind
Ruud van Nistelrooy
|Captain||Robin van Persie|
|Most caps||Edwin van der Sar (130)|
|Top scorer||Robin van Persie (47)|
|Home stadium||Amsterdam Arena (52,500)
De Kuip (47,500)
Philips Stadion (35,000)
|FIFA ranking||3 12 (17 July 2014)|
|Highest FIFA ranking||1 (August 2011 – September 2011)|
|Lowest FIFA ranking||25 (May 1998)|
|Elo ranking||2 (9 July 2014)|
|Highest Elo ranking||1 (Mar 1911 – Mar 1912, Jun 1912, Aug 1920; Jun 1978, Jun 1988 – Jun 1990, Jun–Sep 1992, Jun 2002, Jun–Sep 2003, Oct 2005, Jun 2008, Jul 2010, June 2014.)|
|Lowest Elo ranking||56 (October 1954)|
| Belgium 1–4 (a.e.t.) Netherlands
(Antwerp, Belgium; 30 April 1905)
| Netherlands 11–0 San Marino
(Eindhoven, Netherlands; 2 September 2011)
| England Am. 12–2 Netherlands
(Darlington, England; 21 December 1907)
|Appearances||10 (First in 1934)|
|Best result||Runners-up, 1974, 1978 and 2010|
|Appearances||9 (First in 1976)|
|Best result||Champions, 1988|
The Netherlands national football team (Dutch: Nederlands nationaal voetbalelftal) represents the Netherlands in international association football. It is controlled by the Royal Netherlands Football Association (KNVB), the governing body for football in the Netherlands.
The team is colloquially referred to as Het Nederlands Elftal (The Dutch Eleven) and Oranje, after the House of Orange-Nassau. Like the country itself, the team is sometimes (also colloquially) referred to as Holland. The official code to "Netherlands" is "NED".
The Dutch hold the record for playing the most World Cup finals without ever winning the tournament. They finished second in the 1974, 1978 and 2010 World Cups, losing to West Germany, Argentina and Spain respectively. They won the UEFA European Championship in 1988.
Louis van Gaal fulfilled his contract with the Netherlands, having led them to third place at the 2014 FIFA World Cup, and was succeeded by Guus Hiddink, who had previously managed the team during the late 1990s, and will be in charge for the Netherlands' UEFA Euro 2016 campaign. Assistant coach Danny Blind will be his successor.
- 1 History
- 2 Team image
- 3 Coaching staff
- 4 Current squad
- 5 Results and fixtures
- 6 Records
- 7 Competitive record
- 8 Honours
- 9 See also
- 10 References
- 11 External links
The Netherlands played their first international match in Antwerp against Belgium on 30 April 1905. The players were selected by a five-member commission from the Dutch football association. After 90 minutes, the score was 1–1, but because the match was for a trophy (the "Coupe van den Abeele"), the game went into extra time, in which Eddy de Neve scored three times, making the score 4–1 for the Dutch side.
Total Football in the 1970s
The 1970s saw the invention of Total Football (Dutch: Totaalvoetbal), pioneered by Feyenoord and Ajax and led by playmaker Johan Cruyff and national team coach Rinus Michels. The Dutch made huge strides, qualifying for two World Cup finals in the decade. The captain of the Brazilian team that won the 1970 FIFA World Cup, Carlos Alberto, went on to say "The only team I’ve seen that did things differently was Holland at the 1974 World Cup in Germany. Since then everything looks more or less the same to me…. Their ‘carousel’ style of play was amazing to watch and marvellous for the game."
In 1974, the Netherlands beat both Brazil and Argentina in the second group stage, reaching the final for the first time in their history. However, the team lost to West Germany in the final in Munich, despite having gone 1–0 up through Johan Neeskens' early penalty kick before any German had even touched the ball. However, supported by the crowd, a converted penalty by Paul Breitner and the winner from Gerd Müller led to a victory for the Germans.
By comparison, Euro '76 was a disappointment. The Netherlands lost in the semi-finals to Czechoslovakia, as much because of fighting within the squad and the coach George Knobel, as well as the skill of the eventual winners.
In 1978, the Netherlands again reached the final of a World Cup, only to be beaten by the host, this time Argentina. This side played without Johan Cruijff, Willem van Hanegem, and Jan van Beveren, who refused to participate in the World Cup. It still contained Johan Neeskens, Johnny Rep, Arie Haan, Ruud Krol, Wim Jansen, Jan Jongbloed, Wim Suurbier and Rob Rensenbrink from the 1974 selection. The Netherlands were less impressive in the group stages. They qualified as runners-up, after a draw with Peru and a loss to Scotland. In the second group phase, however, the Netherlands topped a group including Italy and West Germany, setting up a final with Argentina. However, the Dutch finished as runners up for the second World Cup in a row as they ultimately lost 3–1 after two extra time goals from Argentina. Unfortunately for the Dutch, Rensenbrink hit the Argentinian post in the last minute of normal time, with the score 1–1.
Euro '80 was the last tournament for which the Total Football team qualified, but they did not advance past the group stage, despite the tournament format being expanded that year. Veterans such as Krol and Rensenbrink retired soon afterwards and the Netherlands missed the 1982 World Cup, Euro '84, and the 1986 World Cup in succession. Qualification for Euro 1984 was within reach, but the Dutch ended the campaign on the same number of points as rivals Spain, and the same goal difference (+16). Spain advanced having scored two more goals. The failure to reach the 1986 World Cup was also very close. In a play off with neighbours Belgium, the Netherlands lost 1–0 in Brussels, but were leading 2–0 in the home leg in Rotterdam with a few minutes remaining. Belgium scored to end the tie 2–1, and overall play off 2–2. Belgium advanced on the away goal rule.
Rinus Michels returned to coach the team for the Euro '88 tournament. After losing the first group match against the Soviet Union (1–0), the Netherlands qualified for the semi-final by defeating England 3–1 (with a hat-trick by the tournament's top scorer Marco van Basten), and Republic of Ireland (1–0). For many Dutch football supporters, the most important match in the tournament was the semi-final against West Germany, the host country, considered a revenge for the lost 1974 World Cup final (also in West Germany). Marco van Basten scored in the 89th minute to sink the German side. The Netherlands won the final with a victory over the USSR through a header by Ruud Gullit and a volley by van Basten. This was the national team's first major tournament win, and it restored them to the forefront of international football for the next three years after almost a decade in the wilderness.
Despite high expectations as the team entered the 1990 World Cup, the tournament was not a success, as strife within the squad and managerial instability (Thijs Libregts took over from Michels only to be fired shortly after the team qualified, and was replaced by Leo Beenhakker for the finals) ultimately tore the team apart. Van Basten failed to score, as he was frequently marked by opposing defenders, while Gullit was ineffective having not fully recovered from injury. The Dutch managed to advance despite drawing all three group games, meeting their arch-rivals West Germany in the round of 16. The match is most remembered for the spitting-incident involving Frank Rijkaard and Rudi Völler as the Netherlands lost 2–1.
The team reached the semi-finals in the Euro '92, which was noted for the emergence of Dennis Bergkamp, but they were eliminated by eventual champions Denmark, with Van Basten's kick in the penalty shootout being saved by Peter Schmeichel. This was to be van Basten's last major tournament as he suffered a serious ankle injury shortly after, eventually conceding defeat and retiring at the age of 30 in 1995; it was also the last hurrah for Rinus Michels, who returned for one final spell in charge of the team before retiring for good after the tournament ended.
Dick Advocaat took over from Michels on the understanding that he himself would be replaced by Johan Cruijff the following year, although Advocaat actually stayed in charge for over two years. In the 1994 World Cup, in the absence of the injured van Basten and the striking Gullit, Dennis Bergkamp led the team with three goals and the Netherlands advanced to the quarter-finals, where they lost 3–2 to eventual champions Brazil.
At Euro '96, after drawing 0–0 with Scotland and beating Switzerland 2–0, they faced the hosts England in the pool A decider, with both teams on 4 points. After 62 minutes, with Scotland beating Switzerland 1–0, the Netherlands were 4–0 down and looked like finishing third behind Scotland on goal difference and going out of the tournament, but Patrick Kluivert converted a Dennis Bergkamp assist and scored in the 78th minute to see the Dutch finish second on goals scored. They then played France in the quarter-finals, drawing 0–0 and being eliminated 5–4 on penalties.
In the 1998 World Cup, Netherlands, whose team included Marc Overmars, Phillip Cocu, Edgar Davids, Frank de Boer, Ronald de Boer, and Patrick Kluivert, met Argentina in the quarter-final, a rematch of the 1978 final. The Netherlands won 2–1 after a Bergkamp goal in the 89th minute. Bergkamp's goal was famous because of its quality — he touched down a 60-yard (55 m) pass from Frank de Boer then reverse-flicked it inside Roberto Ayala and finally volleyed it past the Argentine goalkeeper. In the semi-final, the Netherlands took Brazil to a penalty shootout after a late Kluivert goal tied the match 1–1, but Brazil won the shootout 4–2 and advanced to the final. Netherlands lost the third place match 2–1 to Croatia. Soon after the World Cup exit manager Guus Hiddink resigned after two tournaments in charge, and was replaced by legendary ex-midfielder Frank Rijkaard.
Netherlands co-hosted Euro 2000 with Belgium and were one of the favourites coming into the tournament. Getting all three wins in the group stage, including a win over France, they then defeated Yugoslavia 6–1 in the quarter-finals. In the semi-finals, their opponents, Italy, went down to ten men in the first half. Italian goalkeeper Francesco Toldo made two saves in the shootout to eliminate the Netherlands. Dennis Bergkamp retired from the national team after Euro 2000 (partly due to his fear of flying effectively ruling him out from the 2002 World Cup which was to be held in East Asia.) Coach Frank Rijkaard was widely criticized by the press after the defeat to the Italians as the Dutch had squandered several chances to kill the game. Rijkaard resigned, with Louis van Gaal taking over. Van Gaal is credited with initially bringing through the backbone of this Dutch side whilst manager of Ajax during the mid nineties, including Edwin van der Sar, Edgar Davids, Michael Reiziger, Clarence Seedorf, Marc Overmars, Patrick Kluivert and the De Boer twins.
Surprisingly the Netherlands failed to qualify for the 2002 World Cup, with crucial losses to Portugal and the Republic of Ireland, the latter of which eliminated them from the Finals tournament. Van Gaal resigned at the conclusion of the Netherlands' unsuccessful campaign.
Dick Advocaat returned to coach the Netherlands for a second time and led the team to the semifinals of Euro 2004 but lost to Portugal and, after receiving criticism for his tactics and player changes, stepped down. This was to be the end for many of the team's World Cup veterans (mostly made up of the Ajax generation of 1995.) Frank and Ronald de Boer, Edgar Davids, Clarence Seedorf, Marc Overmars, Jaap Stam, and Patrick Kluivert had either retired or were not selected for the upcoming World Cup by new coach Marco van Basten.
The Netherlands qualified for the 2006 World Cup in Germany and finished second in Group C after beating Serbia & Montenegro (1–0) and the Côte d'Ivoire (2–1) and drawing Argentina (0–0). Both Argentina and the Netherlands finished the group stage with seven points, but the Argentinians had a superior goal difference and finished first as a result. The Dutch were eliminated in the second round after losing 1–0 to Portugal, in a match that produced 16 yellow cards (which matched the World Cup record for most cautions in one game set in 2002) and set a new World Cup record of four red cards (two for either side) and was nicknamed "the Battle of Nuremberg" by the press. Despite criticism surrounding his selection policy and the lack of attacking football from his team, Marco van Basten was offered a two-year extension to his contract by the Dutch FA, which would allow him to serve as national coach during Euro 2008 and the 2010 World Cup. The move was widely regarded as a vote of confidence in van Basten and his assistants by the KNVB officials.
The Netherlands qualified for Euro 2008, where they were drawn in the "Group of Death", together with France, Italy, and Romania. They began Euro 2008 with a 3–0 win over World Cup Champion Italy in Bern on 9 June 2008. This was the Netherlands' first victory over Italy since 1978. On 13 June 2008, in their second group match against France who were the World Cup runners-up, the Netherlands won convincingly with a 4–1 score. The Dutch closed out an incredible group stage campaign with a 2–0 win over Romania. However, they lost in the quarter-finals to former coach Guus Hiddink's Russia by a score of 3–1, with Ruud van Nistelrooy scoring an 86th minute equaliser to force extra time where the Russians went on to score twice.
Under new coach Bert van Marwijk, the Dutch team went on to secure a 100 percent record in their World Cup 2010 qualification campaign, and qualifying for the World Cup. The World Cup Draw saw the Dutch being placed alongside Denmark, Cameroon and Japan in Group E. The Dutch won 2–0 against Denmark in their opener at the World Cup. They then beat Japan 1–0. They qualified for the Round of 16. In the first knockout round they faced Slovakia and came out with a 2–1 victory. In the quarter-finals against Brazil, the Brazillians held a 1–0 lead at the half and had never lost in 37 World Cup matches (35–0–2) in which they had held a halftime lead, but the Dutch scored twice for a 2-1 win to advance. In the semi-final the Dutch beat Uruguay 3–2 to advance to their first World Cup final since 1978. The Dutch lost to Spain 1–0 after midfielder Andres Iniesta scored in extra time. The Dutch team was criticized for its rough play in the final, and was given nine yellow cards in the single game (including a double yellow card to John Heitinga). Johan Cruyff later public criticized the team for playing in an "ugly" and "vulgar" style. The Associated Press was of the opinion that the Dutch had "turned far too often to dirty tactics." This final also became Giovanni van Bronckhorst's last match as a professional before retiring.
From August to September 2011, the team was ranked number 1 in the FIFA World Rankings, thus becoming the second national football team, after Spain, to top the rankings without previously winning a World Cup.
Netherlands was placed in Group B along with Germany, Portugal, and Denmark, thus making it the Group of Death. The Netherlands lost to Denmark 0-1, lost to Germany 1-2, and finally lost to Portugal 1-2 and exited the competition. Johan Cruyff criticised the team's star players of poor build up play and sloppy execution of the easy passes. Manager Bert van Marwijk resigned after this disappointment.
2014 FIFA World Cup
Louis van Gaal, who had formerly coached the Netherlands' unsuccessful 2002 FIFA World Cup qualification, became manager for the second time. In the 2014 World Cup UEFA qualifying round, the Netherlands won 13 games and drew one, topping the group and earning automatic qualification. They were drawn into Group B, along with Spain, Chile and Australia. They avenged their loss from four years ago by routing Spain 5-1 in their opening match, with Robin van Persie and Arjen Robben scoring two goals each, and Stefan de Vrij scoring one. After the Dutch fell behind 1-0 from conceding a penalty, van Persie equalized just before half time with an acrobatic diving header which gave him the nickname "The Flying Dutchman". The second match against Australia was won in comeback fashion after trailing Australia 2-1; the Dutch won 3-2 thanks to goals from Arjen Robben and Robin van Persie either side of Australia's two, with Memphis Depay scoring the game-winner. Their final group match against Chile was a stalemate until Leroy Fer scored in the 77th minute and Memphis Depay scored again in stoppage time to win the game 2-0 and clinch first place in group B.
The Netherlands defeated Mexico in the Round of 16 by a score of 2-1, with Wesley Sneijder and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar both scoring late to overturn a 0-1 deficit. In the quarterfinals where they faced Costa Rica, the Dutch had many shots on goal but could not score as the match finished 0-0 after extra time. Netherlands won the penalty shootout 4-3, thanks to goalkeeper Tim Krul who was brought on just before the end of extra time and made two spot kick saves, marking the first time in FIFA World Cup history a goalkeeper was brought onto the field solely to participate in a shootout. In the semi-final game against Argentina, Netherlands had more chances while managing to contain Argentine superstar Lionel Messi, which finished scoreless after extra time. However in the shootout Holland was eliminated 4-2 as two Dutch players had their spot kicks saved.
Holland played hosts Brazil in the third place match and took an early lead through a Robin Van Persie 3rd minute penalty after Arjen Robben was pulled back by Brazilian defender Thiago Silva. Daley Blind added a second after 16 minutes. A third goal was added by Georginio Wijnaldum in the 91st minute. This was Holland's first bronze medal (third place finish) in the history of the World Cup. They also became the first team in World Cup history to ever use all 23 players in the squad, when keeper Michel Vorm was brought on for the last minutes of the third place game, having already used 22 players in the previous six matches. Manager Louis van Gaal received praise for getting more out of the young and inexperienced Netherlands squad than many expected.
Louis van Gaal's resignation took effect at the end of the 2014 FIFA World Cup, and he was succeeded as manager by Guus Hiddink, who had previously coached the team to fourth in the 1998 FIFA World Cup, for the UEFA Euro 2016 campaign. Hiddink will be replaced by the current assistant coach Danny Blind after the Euro 2016.
The Netherlands national football team famously plays in bright orange shirts. Orange is the historic national colour of the Netherlands, originating from the one of the many titles of the ruling head of state, Prince of Orange which is also the color of the same name. The current Dutch away shirt is blue.
|Adidas||1970 - 1990|
|Lotto||1991 – 1996|
|Nike||1996 – at least 2026|
Netherlands' long-time football rivals are Germany. The rivalry is one of the few long-standing football rivalries at a national level. Beginning in 1974 when the Dutch lost the 1974 FIFA World Cup to West Germany in the final (though deeply rooted in Dutch anti-German sentiment due to the occupation of the Netherlands by Germany during World War II), the rivalry between the two nations has become one of the best-known international football rivalries in the world.
|Assistant Manager||Ruud Van Nistelrooy|
|Fitness Coach||Rene Wormhoudt|
|Team Manager||Hans Jorritsma|
|Head Scout||Ronald Spelbos|
|Other Staff||Rob Koster|
|Carlo de Leeuw|
|U-21 Manager||Adrie Koster|
|U-19 Manager||Wim van Zwam|
|U-17 Manager||Maarten Stekelenburg|
The following players have been called up for the team in the last 12 months.
INJ Player withdrew from the squad due to an injury.
Results and fixtures
- For all past match results of the national team, see the team's results page
The following matches were played or are scheduled to be played by the national team in the current or upcoming seasons.
|Friendly 5 March||France||2 – 0||Netherlands||Stade de France, Paris|
|21:00 (UTC+1)||Benzema 32'
Referee: Martin Atkinson (England)
|Friendly 17 May||Netherlands||1 – 1||Ecuador||Amsterdam Arena, Amsterdam|
|20:30 (UTC+2)||Van Persie 37'||Report||Montero 9'||Attendance: 50,000
Referee: Pavel Královec (Czech Republic)
|Friendly 31 May||Netherlands||1 – 0||Ghana||De Kuip, Rotterdam|
|20:30 (UTC+2)||Van Persie 5'||Report||Attendance: 51,117
Referee: Carlos Miguel Taborda Xistra (Portugal)
|Friendly 4 June||Netherlands||2 – 0||Wales||Amsterdam Arena, Amsterdam|
|20:30 (UTC+2)||Robben 32'
Referee: Bülent Yildirim (Turkey)
|2014 FIFA World Cup 13 June||Spain||1 – 5||Netherlands||Arena Fonte Nova, Salvador|
|16:00 (UTC−3)||Alonso 27' (pen.)||Report||Van Persie 44', 72'
Robben 53', 80'
De Vrij 65'
Referee: Nicola Rizzoli (Italy)
|2014 FIFA World Cup 18 June||Australia||2 – 3||Netherlands||Estádio Beira-Rio, Porto Alegre|
|13:00 (UTC−3)||Cahill 21'
Jedinak 54' (pen.)
Van Persie 58'
Referee: Djamel Haimoudi (Algeria)
|2014 FIFA World Cup 23 June||Netherlands||2 – 0||Chile||Arena de São Paulo, São Paulo|
|13:00 (UTC−3)||Fer 77'
Referee: Bakary Gassama (Gambia)
|2014 FIFA World Cup 29 June||Netherlands||2 – 1||Mexico||Estádio Castelão, Fortaleza|
|13:00 (UTC−3)||Sneijder 88'
Huntelaar 90+4' (pen.)
|Report||dos Santos 48'||Attendance: 58,817
Referee: Pedro Proença (Portugal)
|2014 FIFA World Cup 5 July||Netherlands||0 – 0 (aet)
(4 – 3 p)
|Costa Rica||Arena Fonte Nova, Salvador|
|17:00 (UTC−3)||Report||Attendance: 51,179
Referee: Ravshan Irmatov (Uzbekistan)
|2014 FIFA World Cup 9 July||Netherlands||0 – 0 (aet)
(2 – 4 p)
|Argentina||Arena de São Paulo, São Paulo|
|17:00 (UTC−3)||Report||Attendance: 61,606
Referee: Cuneyt Cakir (Turkey)
|2014 FIFA World Cup 12 July||Brazil||0 – 3||Netherlands||Estádio Nacional Mané Garrincha, Brasília|
|17:00 (UTC−3)||Report||Van Persie 3' (pen.)
Referee: Djamel Haimoudi (Algeria)
|Friendly 4 September 2014||Italy||v||Netherlands||Bari, Italy|
|Stadium: S. Nicola
|UEFA Euro 2016 Q 9 September||Czech Republic||v||Netherlands|
|UEFA Euro 2016 Q 10 October||Netherlands||v||Kazakhstan||Amsterdam Arena, Amsterdam|
|UEFA Euro 2016 Q 13 October||Iceland||v||Netherlands||Laugardalsvöllur, Reykjavík|
|UEFA Euro 2016 Q 16 November||Netherlands||v||Latvia||Amsterdam Arena, Amsterdam|
FIFA World Cup
Champions Runners-up Third Place Fourth Place
|FIFA World Cup record||FIFA World Cup qualification record|
|1930||Did Not Enter||Declined Participation|
|1950||Did Not Enter||Declined Participation|
|1958||Did Not Qualify||4||2||1||1||12||7|
|1982||Did Not Qualify||8||4||1||3||11||7|
|1990||Round of 16||15th||4||0||3||1||3||4||6||4||2||0||8||2|
|2002||Did Not Qualify||10||6||2||2||30||9|
|2006||Round of 16||11th||4||2||1||1||3||2||12||10||2||0||27||3|
|2018||To Be Determined||To Be Determined|
|2022||To Be Determined|
|Host nation(s) / Year||Result||GP||W||D*||L||GS||GA|
UEFA European Championship
|1960||Did Not Enter|
|1964||Did Not Qualify|
|1984||Did Not Qualify|
|| 2000||Semi Final||3rd||5||4||1||0||13||3|
- Netherlands national under-21 football team
- Netherlands national under-19 football team
- Netherlands national under-17 football team
- Netherlands women's national football team
- Royal Dutch Football Association
- Aruba national football team
- Curaçao national football team
- Sint Maarten national football team
- "Holland Football Facts". Holland.com. 2013-07-25. Retrieved 2013-07-25.
- "Holland’s media-friendly football pros". Radio Netherlands Worldwide. 2011-12-17. Retrieved 2013-07-25.
- The Netherlands reached the top spot in the FIFA ranking on August 10, 2011. FIFA published the ranking on August 24.
- Note that this match is not considered to be a full international by the English Football Association, and does not appear in the records of the England team
- "Netherlands vs. Holland".
- "Netherlands: Full "A" internationals (1905–1910)". International Federation of Football History & Statistics. Retrieved 15 May 2010.
- "Tactics: Were Holland 1974 the last true innovators?". Football Further. 2010-07-14. Retrieved 2010-10-18.
- "Cheeseheads vs Krauts": 30 Years of Enmity, Ajax-USA.com, June 14, 2004
- Phil Jones (1998-07-04). "The Netherlands pay back controversial loss to Argentina". sportsillustrated.cnn.com. Retrieved 2007-08-22.
- Stuart Watt (2006-06-26). "Portugal wins battle of Nuremberg". www.abc.net.au. Retrieved 2007-08-22.
- "Van Basten on right track". Football.co.uk. 27 June 2006. Retrieved 4 May 2012.
- Cruyff: Star players didn't deliver for Netherlands, 2012-06-19.
- Johan Cruyff kritisiert Oranje-Team, der Standard, 2012-06-19
- FIFA. "Tenacity triumphs as last four completed". FIFA.com. FIFA.
- 3 Michel Vorm And Two Minutes Of Glory sbnation.com
- "10 best rivalries in international football"
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Netherlands national football team.|
- (Dutch) Ons Oranje, official site
- Netherlands - Record International Players at the RSSSF archive
- Dutch National Team Coaches at the RSSSF archive
- (Dutch) Voetbalstats.nl, statistics of the national football team
1988 (First title)
|FIFA Team of the Year