Netherlands national football team

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Netherlands
Shirt badge/Association crest
Nickname(s)Oranje
Holland
Clockwork Orange[1]
The Flying Dutchmen[2]
AssociationKoninklijke Nederlandse Voetbalbond (KNVB)
ConfederationUEFA (Europe)
Head coachRonald Koeman[3]
CaptainVirgil van Dijk
Most capsWesley Sneijder (134)
Top scorerRobin van Persie (50)
Home stadiumJohan Cruyff Arena (54,990)
De Kuip (51,117)
Philips Stadion (35,000)
FIFA codeNED
First colours
Second colours
FIFA ranking
Current 14 Increase 2 (14 June 2019)[4]
Highest1[5] (August–September 2011)
Lowest36[5] (August 2017)
Elo ranking
Current 7 Increase 3 (16 June 2019)[6]
Highest1 (1978, 1988–1990, 1992, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2008, 2010, 2014)
Lowest49 (October 1954)
First international
 Belgium 1–4 Netherlands 
(Antwerp, Belgium; 30 April 1905)
Biggest win
 Netherlands 11–0 San Marino 
(Eindhoven, Netherlands; 2 September 2011)
Biggest defeat
England England Amateurs 12–2 Netherlands 
(Darlington, England; 21 December 1907)[A]
World Cup
Appearances10 (first in 1934)
Best resultRunners-up, 1974, 1978, and 2010
European Championship
Appearances9 (first in 1976)
Best resultChampions, 1988
UEFA Nations League Finals
Appearances1 (first in 2019)
Best resultRunners-up (2019)
WebsiteOnsOranje.nl ‹See Tfd›(in Dutch)

The Netherlands national football team[B] has represented the Netherlands in international football matches since 1905. The national team is controlled by the Royal Dutch Football Association (KNVB), which is a part of UEFA, and under the jurisdiction of FIFA the governing body for football in the Netherlands. Most of the Netherlands' home matches are played at the Johan Cruyff Arena and the Stadion Feijenoord. The team is colloquially referred to as Het Nederlands Elftal (The Dutch Eleven) or the Oranje, after the House of Orange-Nassau. Like the country itself, the team is sometimes (also colloquially) referred to as Holland. The fan club is known as the "Het Oranje Legioen".[7]

The Netherlands has competed in ten FIFA World Cups, appearing in the finals three times (in 1974, 1978 and 2010). They have also appeared in nine UEFA European Championships winning the 1988 tournament in West Germany. Additionally, the team won a bronze medal at the Olympic tournament in 1908, 1912 and 1920. The Netherlands has long-standing football rivalries with neighbors Belgium and Germany.

History[edit]

Beginnings: 1905–1969[edit]

1905 Netherlands team

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. Because the match was for the Coupe van den Abeele it went into overtime, during which Eddy de Neve scored three times, making the score 4–1 for the Netherlands.[8] Some historians attribute one of the goals scored to Willem Hesselink.[9]

In 1908, the Netherlands competed in their first official tournament appearance at the Summer Olympics in London. They received a bronze medal after losing to Great Britain in the semifinals, before defeating Sweden in the bronze medal match 2–0.[10] At the Olympic Games in 1912 and 1920, the Dutch finished with the bronze medal as they lost to Denmark and Belgium in the respective tournaments.[11][12]

The Dutch reached the semi-finals at the 1924 Summer Olympics in Paris after winning against Romania and Ireland. In the semi-final, they gave up a one-goal lead, scored by Kees Pijl, to lose 2–1 and were relegated to the third-place playoff for the fourth time,[13] losing to Sweden in a replay.[14]

Netherlands make their way out to face Switzerland at the 1934 FIFA World Cup.

After being eliminated in the first round at the 1928 Summer Olympics on home turf,[15] they skipped the first World Cup in 1930 due to the cost of travel from Europe to South America.[16] The team made their first appearance at a FIFA World Cup in 1934 where they took on Switzerland. Kick Smit was the first goalscorer for the Netherlands in a World Cup. The team was eliminated in the opening round by Switzerland 3–2.[17] A second appearance at the 1938 World Cup resulted in a first-round elimination against Czechoslovakia.[18]

After the Second World War, the Dutch qualified for only two international tournaments before the 1970s. The 1948 Summer Olympics in Great Britain and the 1952 Summer Olympics in Finland. They faced early elimination losing to the hosts in 1948[19] and Brazil in 1952.[20]

Total Football in the 1970s[edit]

During the 1970s, Total Football (Dutch: Totaalvoetbal) was invented, pioneered by Ajax and led by playmaker Johan Cruyff and national team head coach Rinus Michels. The Dutch made significant strides, qualifying for two World Cup finals in the decade. Carlos Alberto, captain of the Brazilian team that won the 1970 FIFA World Cup said, "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 marvelous for the game."[21]

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, they lost to West Germany in the final in Munich, despite having gone up 1–0 through Johan Neeskens' early penalty kick before a German had even touched the ball. However, a converted penalty by Paul Breitner and the winner from Gerd Müller, led to a victory for the Germans.[22]

The Dutch team before their 1–2 loss against West Germany in the final of the 1974 World Cup

The 1976 European Championship the Netherlands qualified for their first European Championship after beating Belgium in the quarterfinals. They were matched in the semifinals by Czechoslovakia who kept Cruff and Van Hanegem within arms-length of another player as they defeated the Dutch in overtime.[23] The Dutch finished in third place after defeating the hosts (Yugoslavia) in overtime.[24]

In 1978, the Netherlands qualified for the World Cup in Argentina. The team was missing Johan Cruyff due to a kidnapping attempt,[25] and Wim van Hanegem. But the squad still had players like Jan Jongbloed, Wim Suurbier and Ruud Krol from the previous World Cup.[26] After finishing runner-up in Group 4 behind Peru, they recorded wins against Austria and Italy to set up a final with Argentina. After a controversial start, with Argentina questioning the plaster cast on René van de Kerkhof's wrist, the match headed to extra time where the Dutch lost 3–1 after two extra time goals from Mario Kempes and Daniel Bertoni.[27]

Failure before European champions[edit]

Euro '80 was the last tournament for which the Total Football team qualified. Despite the tournament format being expanded that year they did not advance past the group stage as they finished behind Czechoslovakia by goal difference.[28]

Veterans such as Krol and Rensenbrink retired soon afterwards and the Dutch team hit a low point in their history: they missed the 1982 World Cup in Spain, Euro 1984 in France, and the 1986 World Cup in Mexico. They failed qualifying for Euro 1984 by virtue of goals scored when Spain scored twelve in the final game against Malta. Because both teams had the same goal difference (+16), Spain qualified having scored two more goals than the Dutch.[29] After qualifying for the 1986 World Cup the Dutch finished in second place and advanced to the playoffs against neighbors Belgium. After losing the first leg 1–0 in Brussels, they held a 2–0 lead at Rotterdam with a few minutes remaining. But Georges Grun's header in the 84th minute resulted in the Netherlands elimination as Belgium advanced to the World Cup by away goals.[30][31]

The 1988 trophy on display in Amsterdam

Rinus Michels returned, with his technical assistant Joris van Beek, to coach the team for Euro 1988 in West Germany. 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 the 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 as revenge for the 1974 World Cup final (also in West Germany). Van Basten scored in the 89th minute to sink the German side.[32] The Netherlands won the final with a victory over the USSR with a header by Ruud Gullit and a volley by Van Basten. This was the national team's first major tournament win.[33]

The Netherlands was one of the favourites for the 1990 World Cup tournament in Italy until Thijs Libregts was replaced by Leo Beenhakker in a late management switch.[34] After this, the Dutch scored only two goals in the group stage which featured England, Egypt and the Republic of Ireland. After finishing the group stage with identical records, the Netherlands and the Republic of Ireland drew lots to determine which team would finish second. The Netherlands had the tougher draw against West Germany, while the Republic of Ireland took Romania.[35] The match against West Germany is mostly remembered for the spitting-incident involving Frank Rijkaard and Rudi Völler as the Netherlands were defeated 2–1.[32]

The team reached the semifinals in the Euro 1992 in Sweden, which was noted for the emergence of Dennis Bergkamp. They were eliminated by eventual champions Denmark, however, when Peter Schmeichel saved Van Basten's kick in the penalty shootout.[36] This was Van Basten's last major tournament. He suffered a serious ankle injury shortly after, and eventually retired at age 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 would be replaced by Johan Cruyff the following year.[37] But after talks between Cruyff and the KNVB broke down, Advocaat remained in charge of the national team for the World Cup.[38] In the 1994 World Cup in the United States, in the absence of the injured Van Basten and the striking Gullit,[39] 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.[40]

Golden generations: 1996–2014[edit]

Netherlands at Euro 96 match against Scotland at the Villa Park stadium in Birmingham, England

After finishing second in their Euro 1996 group, they played France in the quarter-finals. With the score nil all, the match went to penalties. Clarence Seedorf's shot in the fourth round was stopped by French goalkeeper Bernard Lama, but the goal by Laurent Blanc eliminated the Netherlands.[41] After they finished top of the qualifying group, they were drawn in Group E of the 1998 World Cup. With the Dutch team featuring Dennis Bergkamp, Marc Overmars, Phillip Cocu, Edgar Davids, Frank de Boer, Ronald de Boer and Kluivert, they reached the semifinals where they again lost on penalties, this time to Brazil. Falling behind early in the second half before an 87th-minute goal from Patrick Kluivert gave the Dutch fans hope, they lost 4-2 on penalties, and then lost the third-place playoff to Croatia.[42][43] Soon afterwards, manager Guus Hiddink resigned to be replaced by Frank Rijkaard. The Netherlands co-hosted Euro 2000 with Belgium and won all three games in the group stage and then defeated FR Yugoslavia 6–1 in the quarter-finals. In the semifinals, Italian goalkeeper Francesco Toldo made two penalty shootout saves to eliminate the Netherlands. The team failed to qualify for the 2002 World Cup after crucial losses to Portugal and the Republic of Ireland, prompting manager Louis van Gaal to resign.[44]

Netherlands at the 2006 World Cup

Dick Advocaat became the national coach for the Netherlands for the second time in January 2002.[45] His first match was a 1–1 draw against England in Rotterdam.[46] The national team finished second place in their qualifying group for the 2004 Euros. Having to play in the playoffs after losing to the Czech Republic,[47] they knocked off Scotland with a 6–0 win in the second leg to qualify for the 2004 tournament.[48] The tournament saw the Dutch make it to the semifinals where they lost to the hosts in Portugal.[49] Heavy criticism of his handling of the national team lead Advocaat to quit.[50]

The Netherlands qualified for the 2006 World Cup under new manager Marco van Basten. They were eliminated in the second round after losing 1–0 to Portugal. The match produced 16 yellow cards, matching 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 per side;[51] it was nicknamed "the Battle of Nuremberg" by the press.[52] Despite criticism surrounding his selection policy and the lack of attacking football from his team, Van Basten was offered a two-year extension to his contract by the KNVB. This allowed him to serve as national coach during Euro 2008 and the 2010 World Cup.[53] The Netherlands qualified for Euro 2008, where they were drawn in the "Group of Death", together with France, Italy and Romania.[54] They began with a 3–0 win over world champions Italy in Bern, their first victory over the Italians since 1978. However, they then lost in the quarter-finals to Guus Hiddink's Russia 3–1, with Ruud van Nistelrooy scoring an 86th-minute equaliser to force extra time, where the Russians scored twice. Following the tournament, Van Basten resigned having accepted the role at Ajax.[55]

Netherlands – France at Euro 2008
Netherlands – Denmark at the 2010 World Cup

Under new coach Bert van Marwijk, the Dutch went on to secure a 100% record in their World Cup 2010 qualification campaign to qualify for the World Cup. After they had comfortably qualified with maximum points in Group E[56] and Slovakia[57] in the round of 16, they took on Brazil in the quarter-finals. After trailing 1–0 at half-time, Wesley Sneijder scored two goals in the second half to advance the team to the semis where they defeated Uruguay 3–2.[58] They advanced to their first World Cup final since 1978 but fell to Spain 1–0 after midfielder Andrés Iniesta scored in extra time.[59] From August to September 2011, the team was ranked number one in the FIFA World Rankings,[60] becoming the second national football team, after Spain, to top the rankings without previously winning a World Cup.

For Euro 2012, the Netherlands were placed in Group B with Germany, Portugal and Denmark, dubbed the tournament's "Group of Death".[61] The Netherlands lost all three of its matches. Dutch football legend Johan Cruyff criticised the team's star players for poor build up play and sloppy execution of the easy passes.[62][63] Manager Bert van Marwijk resigned after the disappointment.[64]

Louis van Gaal became the manager for the second time. In the 2014 World Cup UEFA qualifying round, the Netherlands won nine games and drew one, topping the group and earning automatic qualification. They were drawn into Group B, alongside Spain, Chile and Australia. The team avenged their 2010 defeat by defeating title holders Spain 5–1 in their opening match, with Robin van Persie and Arjen Robben scoring two goals each and Stefan de Vrij the other.[65]

The Dutch team leaves the field after losing to Argentina at the 2014 World Cup.

After finishing top of Group B, the Dutch defeated Mexico 2–1 in the round of 16, with Wesley Sneijder equalising late in the match and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar scoring a controversial penalty after a foul on Arjen Robben in stoppage time.[66] In the quarter-finals, where they faced Costa Rica, the Dutch had many shots on goal but could not score; the match finished in a 0–0 draw after extra time. The Netherlands won the ensuing penalty shootout 4–3. This was due in large part to backup goalkeeper Tim Krul who was brought on just before the end of extra time and made two saves. This marked the first time in World Cup history a goalkeeper was brought onto the field solely to participate in a shootout.[67]

The semi-final against Argentina saw the Netherlands having a good chance to score from Arjen Robben while containing Lionel Messi as it remained scoreless after extra time. However, in penalty kicks, the Dutch were eliminated 4–2, with Ron Vlaar and Wesley Sneijder having their spot kicks saved by Sergio Romero.[68] The Netherlands won the third-place match against hosts Brazil. Van Gaal, who successfully motivated the team after their semi-final elimination,[69] received praise for getting more out of the young and inexperienced Netherlands squad than many expected.[70][71]

Decline and recovery: 2014–[edit]

Guus Hiddink followed Van Gaal as manager for the Euro 2016 qualifying campaign. On 29 June 2015, Hiddink resigned and was succeeded by assistant Danny Blind. The Netherlands finished fourth in their group failing to qualify for the European Championship for the first time since 1984, and missing a major tournament for the first time since the 2002 World Cup.[72][73] The team's poor form continued into the 2018 World Cup qualifiers, eventually resulting in Blind being dismissed after a 2–0 defeat to Bulgaria in March 2017. After the return of Dick Advocaat as coach, the Netherlands failed to qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, finishing third in Group A behind France and Sweden.[74]

In February 2018, Advocaat was replaced by Ronald Koeman, on a contract until the summer of 2022.[75] The Netherlands qualified for League A in the UEFA Nations League where they would qualify to the final four after drawing with Germany on the final match day. This was because the Dutch scored two goals in the final five minutes of play to finish top of their group by head to head over second place, France.[76]

Team image[edit]

Kits and crest[edit]

Dutch fans wearing the traditional orange colours at a 2006 World Cup match in Stuttgart

The Netherlands national football team famously plays in bright orange shirts. Orange is the historic national colour of the Netherlands, originating from one of the many titles of the ruling head of state, Prince of Orange. The current Dutch away shirt is blue. The lion on the crest is the Netherlands' national and royal animal and has been on the crest since 1907 when they won 3-1 over Belgium.[77]

Nike is the national team's kit provider, a sponsorship that began in 1996 and is contracted to continue until at least 2026.[78] Before that the team was supplied by Adidas and Lotto.[79]

Rivalries[edit]

Deeply rooted in Dutch anti-German sentiment due to the occupation of the Netherlands by Germany during World War II, the Netherlands' long-time football rival is Germany. Beginning in 1974, when the Dutch lost the 1974 World Cup to West Germany in the final, the rivalry between the two nations has become one of the best-known in international football.[80][81]

To a lesser extent, the Netherlands maintains a rivalry with their other neighbour, Belgium; a Belgium–Netherlands fixture is referred to as a Low Countries derby. They have played in 126 matches as of May 2018 with the two competing against each other regularly between 1905 and 1964. This has diminished due to the rise of semi-professional football.[82] More recently, the Netherlands have also developed a rivalry with Spain.[83] This recent rivalry began in 2010, when Spain defeated the Netherlands 1–0 after extra time in the final match of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Four years later, the Netherlands routed Spain 5–1 in a rematch in the group stage of the 2014 FIFA World Cup, contributing to Spain's early exit from the tournament.[65]

Media coverage[edit]

The Netherlands national football team matches have broadcast on Nederlandse Omroep Stichting which includes all friendlies, Nation League and World Cup qualifiers. The newest contract is a four-year deal until 2022.[84]

Stadiums[edit]

The Netherlands plays most of their matches at the Johan Cruyff Arena.

The Dutch national team does not have a national stadium but plays mostly at the Johan Cruyff Arena. It played host to the first Dutch international game back in March 29, 1997, with a 1998 World Cup qualification match against San Marino which the Netherlands won 4–0.[85] It was formally called the Amsterdam Arena until 2018 when it was renamed in memory of Johan Cruyff.[86]

Other venues that hosted Dutch international matches include the Feijenoord Stadion, which hosted two Dutch matches at UEFA Euro 2000 and the final, and the Philips Stadion where the national team has played a range of matches.[87]

Managements[edit]

There has been thirty-five different managers who have taken the role as manager of the Netherlands national football team with their first manager being Cees van Hasselt in the first match against Belgium back in 1905.[88] Bob Glendenning holds the record for being the longest in charge with sixteen years in charge of the national team between 1925 and 1940. He has also managed the Netherlands team the most times in history with 87 matches, twenty five more than second placed manager Dick Advocaat.[89]

Players[edit]

Current squad[edit]

The following squad was called up for the 2019 UEFA Nations League Finals matches against England on 6 June 2019.[90]
Caps and goals updated as of 9 June 2019, after the match against Portugal.

No. Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club
1 1GK Jasper Cillessen (1989-04-22)22 April 1989 (aged 30) 50 0 Spain Valencia
13 1GK Kenneth Vermeer (1986-01-10)10 January 1986 (aged 33) 5 0 Netherlands Feyenoord
23 1GK Marco Bizot (1991-03-10)10 March 1991 (aged 28) 0 0 Netherlands AZ

17 2DF Daley Blind (1990-03-09)9 March 1990 (aged 29) 64 2 Netherlands Ajax
14 2DF Stefan de Vrij (1992-02-05)5 February 1992 (aged 27) 37 3 Italy Internazionale
4 2DF Virgil van Dijk (captain) (1991-07-08)8 July 1991 (aged 27) 28 4 England Liverpool
3 2DF Matthijs de Ligt (1999-08-12)12 August 1999 (aged 19) 17 2 Netherlands Ajax
5 2DF Nathan Aké (1995-02-18)18 February 1995 (aged 24) 10 1 England Bournemouth
12 2DF Patrick van Aanholt (1990-08-29)29 August 1990 (aged 28) 9 0 England Crystal Palace
22 2DF Denzel Dumfries (1996-04-18)18 April 1996 (aged 23) 7 0 Netherlands PSV Eindhoven
2 2DF Hans Hateboer (1994-01-09)9 January 1994 (aged 25) 3 0 Italy Atalanta

8 3MF Georginio Wijnaldum (1990-11-11)11 November 1990 (aged 28) 57 11 England Liverpool
16 3MF Kevin Strootman (1990-02-13)13 February 1990 (aged 29) 44 3 France Marseille
18 3MF Tonny Vilhena (1995-01-03)3 January 1995 (aged 24) 15 0 Netherlands Feyenoord
6 3MF Davy Pröpper (1991-09-02)2 September 1991 (aged 27) 15 3 England Brighton & Hove Albion
15 3MF Marten de Roon (1991-03-29)29 March 1991 (aged 28) 12 0 Italy Atalanta
21 3MF Frenkie de Jong (1997-05-12)12 May 1997 (aged 22) 9 0 Netherlands Ajax
20 3MF Donny van de Beek (1997-04-18)18 April 1997 (aged 22) 7 0 Netherlands Ajax

9 4FW Ryan Babel (1986-12-19)19 December 1986 (aged 32) 58 8 England Fulham
10 4FW Memphis Depay (1994-02-13)13 February 1994 (aged 25) 48 16 France Lyon
11 4FW Quincy Promes (1992-01-04)4 January 1992 (aged 27) 38 7 Netherlands Ajax
19 4FW Luuk de Jong (1990-08-27)27 August 1990 (aged 28) 17 4 Netherlands PSV Eindhoven
7 4FW Steven Bergwijn (1997-10-08)8 October 1997 (aged 21) 7 0 Netherlands PSV Eindhoven

Recent call-ups[edit]

The following players have been called up for the team in the last 12 months.

Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club Latest call-up
GK Sergio Padt (1990-06-06) 6 June 1990 (age 29) 0 0 Netherlands Groningen v.  France, 9 September 2018

DF Daryl Janmaat (1989-07-22) 22 July 1989 (age 29) 34 0 England Watford v.  France, 9 September 2018
DF Timothy Fosu-Mensah (1998-01-02) 2 January 1998 (age 21) 3 0 England Fulham v.  Peru, 6 September 2018 PRE

MF Ruud Vormer (1988-05-11) 11 May 1988 (age 31) 4 0 Belgium Club Brugge v.  France, 9 September 2018
MF Guus Til (1997-12-22) 22 December 1997 (age 21) 1 0 Netherlands AZ v.  Peru, 6 September 2018 PRE

FW Javairô Dilrosun (1998-06-22) 22 June 1998 (age 21) 1 0 Germany Hertha BSC v.  Germany, 19 November 2018
FW Arnaut Groeneveld (1997-01-31) 31 January 1997 (age 22) 2 1 Belgium Club Brugge v.  Belgium, 16 October 2018
FW Justin Kluivert (1999-05-05) 5 May 1999 (age 20) 2 0 Italy Roma v.  France, 9 September 2018
FW Eljero Elia (1987-02-13) 13 February 1987 (age 32) 30 2 Turkey İstanbul Başakşehir v.  Peru, 6 September 2018 PRE

INJ Player withdrew from the squad due to an injury.
PRE Preliminary squad.
RET Player had announced retirement from national team.
SUS Player is serving suspension.

Results and fixtures[edit]

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 past or in the upcoming 12 months. The time in the Netherlands is shown first. If the local time is different, it will be displayed below.

2018[edit]

2019[edit]

Records[edit]

Most capped players[edit]

Wesley Sneijder is the most capped player in the history of Netherlands with 134 caps.
  Highlighted names denote a player still playing or available for selection.
# Name Netherlands career Matches Goals
1. Wesley Sneijder 2003–2018 134 31
2. Edwin van der Sar 1995–2008 130 0
3. Frank de Boer 1990–2004 112 13
4. Rafael van der Vaart 2001–2013 109 25
5. Giovanni van Bronckhorst 1996–2010 106 6
6. Dirk Kuyt 2004–2014 104 24
7. Robin van Persie 2005–2017 102 50
8. Phillip Cocu 1996–2006 101 10
9. Arjen Robben 2003–2017 96 37
10. John Heitinga 2004–2013 87 7

Last updated: 12 May 2019
Source: voetbalstats.nl ‹See Tfd›(in Dutch)

Top goalscorers[edit]

Striker Robin van Persie is the top scorer in the history of Netherlands with 50 goals.
  Highlighted names denote a player still playing or available for selection.
# Name Netherlands career Goals Matches
1. Robin van Persie 2005–2017 50 102
2. Klaas-Jan Huntelaar 2006–2015 42 76
3. Patrick Kluivert 1994–2004 40 79
4. Dennis Bergkamp 1990–2000 37 79
4. Arjen Robben 2003–2017 37 96
6. Faas Wilkes 1946–1961 35 38
6. Ruud van Nistelrooy 1998–2011 35 70
8. Abe Lenstra 1940–1959 33 47
8. Johan Cruyff 1966–1977 33 48
10. Wesley Sneijder 2003–2018 31 134

Last updated: 12 May 2019
Source: voetbalstats.nl ‹See Tfd›(in Dutch)

Competitive record[edit]

Overview
Event 1st place 2nd place 3rd place 4th place
World Cup 0 3 1 1
European Championship 1 0 4 0
Olympic Games 0 0 3 1
Nations League 0 1 0 0

FIFA World Cup[edit]

The Netherlands' first two tournament appearances at the 1934 and the 1938 editions saw them lose their first round matches to Switzerland (1934) and Czechoslovakia (1938).[91][92]

After not qualifying for the next six World Cups, they qualified for the 1974 FIFA World Cup in West Germany. There, with the use of "Total Football" tactics, they recorded their first win in World Cup competition against Uruguay. They qualified through to the second round where a win on the final match day secured the Netherlands a spot in the final. They lost to West Germany 2–1 with Gerd Müller scoring the winning goal for the Germans.[22] The Netherlands once again made the 1978 FIFA World Cup final with the team finishing second in the group behind Peru. After finishing top of the all-European group in the second round, they met Argentina in the final. Argentina protested René van de Kerkhof's forearm plaster cast. After that protest, the game went to extra time where Argentina won 3–1 after scoring two goals in extra time.[27]

The 1990 edition saw the Netherlands not win a single game throughout the tournament, scoring only two goals in the group stage. After finishing with an identical record with the Republic of Ireland, they were split by drawing of lots. The Dutch took on West Germany losing 2–1 in Milan.[35][93] 1994 saw the Netherlands knocked out in the quarter-final stage as they lost to eventual champions Brazil with Branco's brutal free-kick sending them out.[40] After qualifying from their group with five points, the Dutch made the semi finals of the 1998 edition where they once again lost to the Brazilians. This time it was by penalties; Phillip Cocu and Ronald de Boer's shots missed the goal to give Brazil a spot in the final. The Netherlands went on to finish in fourth place after losing to Croatia in the third-place playoff.[94]

In 2006, the Netherlands made it to the round of 16 where, in what was called the "Battle of Nuremberg" they lost by a single goal to Portugal. The Dutch were given seven yellow cards.[52] The following edition, in 2010, saw the team qualify to the knockout stage by finishing atop Group E. After defeating Slovakia 2–1 in the round of 16, they came back from an early goal by Robinho to defeat Brazil 2–1 in the quarter-finals as Wesley Sneijder scored a double.[57][58] In the semi-final, they defeated Uruguay in a tough game for the Dutch, making their first World Cup final since 1978.[95] In the final, they took on Spain. During normal time, the Dutch had plenty of chances to win the game, the closest being in the 62nd minute when Sneijder shot wide. Spain's winning goal came off a play in the 116th minute after the Netherlands went down to ten men.[96][59]

In 2014, the Netherlands finish atop Group B with wins over Spain, Australia and Chile.[97] In the round of 16 match the Netherlands came back from a goal down to manage a 2–1 win in stoppage time with Klaas-Jan Huntelaar scoring a controversial penalty.[66] In the quarter-finals, they defeated Costa Rica on penalties however they lost to Argentina on penalties in the semi-final.[67][98]

Netherlands's FIFA World Cup record
Qualification record
Host nation(s)
and year
Round Pos Pld W D* L GF GA Squad Pld W D L GF GA
Uruguay 1930 Did not enter Declined participation
Italy 1934 Round of 16 9th 1 0 0 1 2 3 Squad 2 2 0 0 9 4
France 1938 Round of 16 14th 1 0 0 1 0 3 Squad 2 1 1 0 5 1
Brazil 1950 Did not enter Declined participation
Switzerland 1954
Sweden 1958 Did not qualify 4 2 1 1 12 7
Chile 1962 3 0 2 1 4 7
England 1966 6 2 2 2 6 4
Mexico 1970 6 3 1 2 9 5
West Germany 1974 Runners-Up 2nd 7 5 1 1 15 3 Squad 6 4 2 0 24 2
Argentina 1978 Runners-Up 2nd 7 3 2 2 15 10 Squad 6 5 1 0 11 3
Spain 1982 Did not qualify 8 4 1 3 11 7
Mexico 1986 8 4 1 3 13 7
Italy 1990 Round of 16 15th 4 0 3 1 3 4 Squad 6 4 2 0 8 2
United States 1994 Quarter-finals 7th 5 3 0 2 8 6 Squad 10 6 3 1 29 9
France 1998 Fourth Place 4th 7 3 3 1 13 7 Squad 8 6 1 1 26 4
South Korea Japan 2002 Did not qualify 10 6 2 2 30 9
Germany 2006 Round of 16 11th 4 2 1 1 3 2 Squad 12 10 2 0 27 3
South Africa 2010 Runners-Up 2nd 7 6 0 1 12 6 Squad 8 8 0 0 17 2
Brazil 2014 Third Place 3rd 7 5 2 0 15 4 Squad 10 9 1 0 34 5
Russia 2018 Did not qualify 10 6 1 3 21 12
Qatar 2022 To be determined To be determined
Canada Mexico United States 2026
Total Runners-Up 10/21 50 27 12 11 86 48 123 80 24 19 291 92
     Champions       Runners-up       Third place       Fourth place
* Draws include knockout matches decided on penalty kicks.

UEFA European Championship[edit]

Netherlands's UEFA European Championship record
Qualification record
Year Round Pos Pld W D* L GF GA Squad Pld W D L GF GA
France 1960 Did not enter Did not enter
Spain 1964 Did not qualify 4 1 2 1 6 5
Italy 1968 6 2 1 3 11 11
Belgium 1972 6 3 1 2 18 6
Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia 1976 Third Place 3rd 2 1 0 1 4 5 Squad 8 6 0 2 21 9
Italy 1980 Group Stage 5th 3 1 1 1 4 4 Squad 8 6 1 1 20 6
France 1984 Did not qualify 8 6 1 1 22 6
West Germany 1988 Champions 1st 5 4 0 1 8 3 Squad 8 6 2 0 15 1
Sweden 1992 Semi-finals 3rd 4 2 2 0 6 3 Squad 8 6 1 1 17 2
England 1996 Quarter-finals 8th 4 1 2 1 3 4 Squad 11 7 2 2 25 5
Belgium Netherlands 2000 Semi-finals 3rd 5 4 1 0 13 3 Squad Qualified as hosts
Portugal 2004 Semi-finals 3rd 5 1 2 2 7 6 Squad 10 7 1 2 21 12
Austria Switzerland 2008 Quarter-finals 6th 4 3 0 1 10 4 Squad 12 8 2 2 15 5
Poland Ukraine 2012 Group Stage 15th 3 0 0 3 2 5 Squad 10 9 0 1 37 8
France 2016 Did not qualify 10 4 1 5 17 14
Europe 2020 Future event 2 1 0 1 6 3
Germany 2024 Future event
Total 1 Title 9/15 35 17 8 10 57 37 111 72 15 24 256 88

Summer Olympic Games[edit]

Netherlands's Summer Olympic Games record
Year Round Pld W D* L GF GA Squad
United Kingdom 1908 Third Place 2 1 0 1 2 4 Squad
Sweden 1912 Third Place 4 3 0 1 17 8 Squad
Belgium 1920 Third Place 4 2 0 2 9 10 Squad
France 1924 Fourth Place 5 2 1 2 11 7 Squad
Netherlands 1928 Round 1 1 0 0 1 0 2 Squad
Nazi Germany 1936 Did not enter
United Kingdom 1948 Round 1 2 1 0 1 6 5 Squad
Finland 1952 Preliminary Round 1 0 0 1 1 5 Squad
Australia 1956 Did not enter
Italy 1960 Did not qualify
Japan 1964 Did not enter
Mexico 1968 Did not qualify
Germany 1972 Did not enter
Canada 1976 Did not qualify
Soviet Union 1980
United States 1984
South Korea 1988
Spain 1992
United States 1996
Australia 2000
Greece 2004
China 2008 Quarter Finals 4 1 2 1 4 4 Squad
United Kingdom 2012 Did not qualify
Brazil 2016
Total 8/24 27 10 3 10 50 45

Football at the Summer Olympics has been an under-23 tournament since 1992 (with three players of over 23 years of age allowed in the squad).

UEFA Nations League[edit]

Netherlands's UEFA Nations League record
Year** Division Round Pos Pld W D* L GF GA
Portugal 2018–19 A Runners-up 2nd 6 3 1 2 11 6
2020–21 A To be determined
Total 1/1 6 3 1 2 11 6
*Denotes draws including knockout matches decided on penalty kicks.
**Group stage played home and away. Flag shown represents host nation for the finals stage.

See also[edit]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ 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, because professional football had already been introduced in England at that time. In the Netherlands, however, professional football was not introduced until 1954. Before then, players who left the Netherlands to turn pro in another country were banned from the national team.
  2. ^ Dutch: Het Nederlands Elftal
  3. ^ 1974, 1984–1985, 1986–1988, 1990–1992

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External links[edit]