Netherlands national football team

The Netherlands national football team (Dutch: Het Nederlands Elftal) has represented the Netherlands in international men's football matches since 1905. The national team is controlled by the Royal Dutch Football Association (KNVB), the governing body for football in the Netherlands, which is a part of UEFA, and under the jurisdiction of FIFA. They are widely considered one of the best teams in world football to have never won a FIFA World Cup. Most of the Netherlands' home matches are played at the Johan Cruyff Arena and the Stadion Feijenoord.

Netherlands
Nickname(s)Oranje
Holland
The Flying Dutchmen[1]
AssociationRoyal Dutch Football Association (KNVB)
ConfederationUEFA (Europe)
Head coachFrank de Boer
CaptainVirgil van Dijk
Most capsWesley Sneijder (134)
Top scorerRobin van Persie (50)
Home stadiumJohan Cruyff Arena (53,320)
De Kuip (47,500)
FIFA codeNED
First colours
Second colours
FIFA ranking
Current 16 (27 May 2021)[2]
Highest1[3] (August 2011)
Lowest36[4] (August 2017)
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 Amateurs 12–2 Netherlands 
(Darlington, England; 21 December 1907)[upper-alpha 1]
World Cup
Appearances10 (first in 1934)
Best resultRunners-up (1974, 1978, 2010)
European Championship
Appearances10 (first in 1976)
Best resultChampions (1988)
UEFA Nations League Finals
Appearances1 (first in 2019)
Best resultRunners-up (2019)
Medal record
Men's football
FIFA World Cup
1974 West GermanyTeam
1978 ArgentinaTeam
2010 South AfricaTeam
2014 BrazilTeam
UEFA European Championship
1988 West GermanyTeam
1976 YugoslaviaTeam
1992 SwedenTeam
2000 Netherlands and BelgiumTeam
2004 PortugalTeam
UEFA Nations League
2019 PortugalTeam
Olympic Games
1908 LondonTeam
1912 StockholmTeam
1920 AntwerpTeam
WebsiteOnsOranje.nl (in Dutch)

The team is colloquially referred to as Het Nederlands Elftal (The Dutch Eleven) or Oranje, after the House of Orange-Nassau and their distinctive orange jerseys. Like the country itself, the team is sometimes (also colloquially) referred to as Holland. The fan club is known as "Het Oranje Legioen" (The Orange Legion).[5]

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

Beginnings: 1905–1969

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.[6] Some historians attribute one of the goals scored to Willem Hesselink.[7]

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.[8] 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.[9][10]

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 versus Uruguay and were relegated to the third-place playoff for the fourth time,[11] losing to Sweden in a replay.[12]

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,[13] they skipped the first World Cup in 1930 due to the cost of travel from Europe to South America.[14] 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.[15] A second appearance at the 1938 World Cup resulted in a first-round elimination against Czechoslovakia.[16]

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[17] and Brazil in 1952.[18]

Total Football in the 1970s and First Golden generations

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."[19]

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.[20]

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 Cruyff and Van Hanegem within arms-length of another player as they defeated the Dutch in overtime.[21] The Dutch finished in third place after defeating the hosts (Yugoslavia) in overtime.[22]

In 1978, the Netherlands qualified for the World Cup in Argentina. The team was missing Johan Cruyff due to a kidnapping attempt,[23] and Wim van Hanegem. But the squad still had players like Jan Jongbloed, Wim Suurbier and Ruud Krol from the previous World Cup.[24] 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.[25]

Failure before European champions

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.[26]

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.[27] During the qualification stage 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 on away goals.[28][29]

The 1988 trophy on display in Amsterdam

Rinus Michels returned, with his technical assistant Nol de Ruiter, 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.[30] 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.[31]

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.[32] 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.[33] 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.[30]

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.[34] 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.[35] But after talks between Cruyff and the KNVB broke down, Advocaat remained in charge of the national team for the World Cup.[36] In the 1994 World Cup in the United States, in the absence of the injured Van Basten and the striker Ruud Gullit,[37] 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.[38]

Second Golden generations: 1996–2014

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.[39] 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.[40][41] 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.[42]

Netherlands at the 2006 World Cup

Dick Advocaat became the national coach for the Netherlands for the second time in January 2002.[43] His first match was a 1–1 draw against England in Rotterdam.[44] 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,[45] they knocked off Scotland with a 6–0 win in the second leg to qualify for the 2004 tournament.[46] The tournament saw the Dutch make it to the semifinals where they lost to the hosts in Portugal.[47] Heavy criticism of his handling of the national team lead Advocaat to quit.[48]

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;[49] it was nicknamed "the Battle of Nuremberg" by the press.[50] 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.[51] The Netherlands qualified for Euro 2008, where they were drawn in the "Group of Death", together with France, Italy and Romania.[52] They began with a 3–0 win over world champions Italy in Bern, their first victory over the Italians since 1978. They then beat France by 4–1 to qualify for the second round, and went on winning the group on nine points after beating Romania 2–0 with (mainly) their reserve players. 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.[53]

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[54] and Slovakia[55] 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.[56] They advanced to their first World Cup final since 1978 but fell to Spain 1–0 after midfielder Andrés Iniesta scored in extra time.[57] From August to September 2011, the team was ranked number one in the FIFA World Rankings,[58] 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".[59] 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.[60][61] Manager Bert van Marwijk resigned after the disappointment.[62]

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.[63]

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.[64] 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.[65]

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.[66] The Netherlands won the third-place match against hosts Brazil. Van Gaal, who successfully motivated the team after their semi-final elimination,[67] received praise for getting more out of the young and inexperienced Netherlands squad than many expected.[68][69]

Decline and recovery: 2014–

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.[70] 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.[71]

In February 2018, Advocaat was replaced by Ronald Koeman, on a contract until the summer of 2022.[72] 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, beating France by head-to-head records.[73] The Dutch team beat England in the semi-final of the Nations League, but lost 1–0 in the final against Portugal.[74]

The Netherlands qualified for the UEFA Euro 2020 Championships on 16 November 2019 after drawing against Northern Ireland,[75] marking their tenth participation in the UEFA Euro championships. Following the qualification, Ronald Koeman resigned from the team to coach FC Barcelona.

Without Ronald Koeman in charge, the Dutch struggled in the new Nations League season, where they joined Poland, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Italy. The Netherlands won 1–0 at home by courtesy of Steven Bergwijn after a difficult game where Poland played very defensive against the Netherlands.[76] However, also at the home ground, the Dutch fell by the same score to Italy and lost their leading position to the Italians as well.[77] Eventually, the Dutch improved, and obtained important wins over Bosnia at home and Poland away, but a disappointing away draw to Bosnia proved crucial. Despite a strong display in their last group match against Italy, the match in Bergamo resulted in yet another draw. The Netherlands came within a point of progressing but eventually failed to acquire the ticket for the 2021 UEFA Nations League Final.[78][79][80][81]

Team image

Kits and crest

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 black. 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.[82]

Nike is the national team's kit provider, a sponsorship that began in 1996 and is contracted to continue until at least 2026.[83] Before that the team was supplied by Adidas and Lotto.[84]

Kit suppliers

Kit supplier Period Notes
Umbro 1966–1974
Adidas 1974–1990
Lotto 1991–1996
Nike 1996–present

Rivalries

Deeply rooted in 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.[85][86]

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.[87]

Media coverage

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.[88]

Home stadiums

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 on March 29, 1997, with a 1998 World Cup qualification match against San Marino which the Netherlands won 4–0.[89] It was formally called the Amsterdam Arena until 2018 when it was renamed in memory of Johan Cruyff.[90]

Other venues that hosted Dutch international matches include the de Kuip, 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.[91]

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 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.

2019

16 November 2019 UEFA Euro 2020 Q Northern Ireland  0–0  Netherlands Belfast, Northern Ireland
19:45 GMT (UTC±0) Report Stadium: Windsor Park
Attendance: 18,404
Referee: Szymon Marciniak (Poland)
19 November 2019 UEFA Euro 2020 Q Netherlands  5–0  Estonia Amsterdam, Netherlands
20:45 CET (UTC+1) Wijnaldum  6', 66', 79'
Aké  19'
Boadu  87'
Report Stadium: Johan Cruyff Arena
Attendance: 50,386
Referee: Davide Massa (Italy)

2020

4 September 2020 2020–21 UEFA Nations League GS Netherlands  1–0  Poland Amsterdam, Netherlands
20:45 CEST (UTC+2) Bergwijn  61' Report Stadium: Johan Cruijff Arena
Attendance: 0
Referee: Georgi Kabakov (Bulgaria)
7 September 2020 2020–21 UEFA Nations League GS Netherlands  0–1  Italy Amsterdam, Netherlands
20:45 CEST (UTC+2) Report Barella  45+1' Stadium: Johan Cruijff Arena
Attendance: 0
Referee: Felix Brych (Germany)
7 October 2020 Friendly Netherlands  0–1  Mexico Amsterdam, Netherlands
20:45 CEST (UTC+2) Report Jiménez  60' (pen.) Stadium: Johan Cruijff Arena
Referee: Srđan Jovanović (Serbia)
11 October 2020 2020–21 UEFA Nations League GS Bosnia and Herzegovina  0–0  Netherlands Zenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina
18:00 CEST (UTC+2) Report Stadium: Stadion Bilino Polje
Referee: István Kovács (Romania)
14 October 2020 2020–21 UEFA Nations League GS Italy  1–1  Netherlands Bergamo, Italy
20:45 CEST (UTC+2) Pellegrini  16' Report Van de Beek  25' Stadium: Stadio Atleti Azzurri d'Italia
Referee: Anthony Taylor (England)
11 November 2020 Friendly Netherlands  1–1  Spain Amsterdam, Netherlands
20:45 Van de Beek  47' Report Canales  19' Stadium: Johan Cruijff Arena
Attendance: 0
Referee: Davide Massa (Italy)
15 November 2020 2020–21 UEFA Nations League GS Netherlands  3–1  Bosnia and Herzegovina Amsterdam, Netherlands
18:00 CET (UTC+1) Wijnaldum  6', 14'
Depay  55'
Report Prevljak  63' Stadium: Johan Cruijff Arena
Referee: François Letexier (France)
18 November 2020 2020–21 UEFA Nations League GS Poland  1–2  Netherlands Chorzów, Poland
20:45 CET (UTC+1) Jóźwiak  6' Report Depay  77' (pen.)
Wijnaldum  84'
Stadium: Silesian Stadium
Referee: Orel Grinfeld (Israel)

2021

24 March 2021 WCQ2022 UEFA Group G Turkey  4–2  Netherlands Istanbul, Turkey
18:00 TRT (UTC+3)
  • Yilmaz  15', 34' (pen.), 81'
  • Çalhanoğlu  46'
Report
  • Klaassen  75'
  • L. de Jong  77'
Stadium: Atatürk Olympic Stadium
Referee: Michael Oliver (England)
27 March 2021 WCQ2022 UEFA Group G Netherlands  2–0  Latvia Amsterdam, Netherlands
20:45 CET (UTC+1)
  • Berghuis  32'
  • L. de Jong  69'
Report Stadium: Johan Cruijff Arena
Attendance: 5,000
Referee: Stéphanie Frappart (France)
30 March 2021 WCQ2022 UEFA Group G Gibraltar  0–7  Netherlands Gibraltar
20:45 CEST (UTC+2) Report
  • Berghuis  42'
  • L. de Jong  55'
  • Depay  61', 88'
  • Wijnaldum  62'
  • Malen  64'
  • Van de Beek  85'
Stadium: Victoria Stadium
Referee: João Pinheiro (Portugal)
2 June 2021 Friendly Netherlands  v  Scotland Almancil, Portugal
19:45 CEST (UTC+2) Stadium: Estádio Algarve
6 June 2021 Friendly Netherlands  v  Georgia Enschede, Netherlands
17:00 CEST (UTC+2) Stadium: De Grolsch Veste
13 June 2021 UEFA Euro 2020 Netherlands  v  Ukraine Amsterdam, Netherlands
21:00 CEST (UTC+2) Report Stadium: Johan Cruijff Arena
17 June 2021 UEFA Euro 2020 Netherlands  v  Austria Amsterdam, Netherlands
21:00 CEST (UTC+2) Report Stadium: Johan Cruijff Arena
21 June 2021 UEFA Euro 2020 North Macedonia  v  Netherlands Amsterdam, Netherlands
18:00 CEST (UTC+2) Report Stadium: Johan Cruijff Arena
1 September 2021 WCQ2022 UEFA Group G Norway  v  Netherlands
20:45 CEST (UTC+2) Report
4 September 2021 WCQ2022 UEFA Group G Netherlands  v  Montenegro
20:45 CEST (UTC+2) Report
7 September 2021 WCQ2022 UEFA Group G Netherlands  v  Turkey
20:45 CEST (UTC+2) Report
8 October 2021 WCQ2022 UEFA Group G Latvia  v  Netherlands
21:45 EEST (UTC+3) Report
11 October 2021 WCQ2022 UEFA Group G Netherlands  v  Gibraltar
20:45 CEST (UTC+2) Report
13 November 2021 WCQ2022 UEFA Group G Montenegro  v  Netherlands
20:45 CET (UTC+1) Report
16 November 2021 WCQ2022 UEFA Group G Netherlands  v  Norway
20:45 CET (UTC+1) Report

Coaching staff

Position Name
Head coach Frank De Boer
Assistant coach(es) Dwight Lodeweges
Ruud van Nistelrooy
Goalkeeping coach Patrick Lodewijks
Fitness coaches Jan Kluitenberg
Martin Cruijff
Team manager Fernando Arrabal
Physiotherapist(s) Ricardo de Sanders
Gert-Jan Goudswaard
Luc van Agt
Doctor Edwin Goedhart
Rien Heijboer
Masseurs Rob Koster
Analyst(s) Cees Lok
Gert Aandewiel
Dennis Demmers

Coaching history

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.[92] 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. Advocaat has the most wins as manager, with 37 to Glendenning's 36.[93]

  • Cees van Hasselt 1905–1908
  • Edgar Chadwick 1908–1913
  • Billy Hunter 1914
  • Jack Reynolds 1919
  • Fred Warburton 1919–1923
  • Bob Glendenning 1923, 1925–1940
  • Billy Townley 1924
  • J.E. Bollington 1924
  • Karel Kaufman 1946, 1949, 1954–1955
  • Jesse Carver 1947–1948
  • Tom Sneddon 1948
  • Jaap van der Leck 1949–1954
  • Friedrich Donenfeld 1955, 1956–1957
  • Max Merkel 1955–1956
  • Heinrich Müller 1956
  • George Hardwick 1957
  • Elek Schwartz 1957–1964
  • Denis Neville 1964–1966
  • Georg Keßler 1966–1970
  • František Fadrhonc 1970–1974
  • Rinus Michels 1974–1992[upper-alpha 2]
  • George Knobel 1974–1976
  • Jan Zwartkruis 1976–1977, 1978–1981
  • Ernst Happel 1977–1978
  • Kees Rijvers 1981–1984
  • Leo Beenhakker 1985–1986, 1990
  • Thijs Libregts 1988–1990
  • Nol de Ruiter 1990 (caretaker)
  • Dick Advocaat 1992–1994, 2002–2004, 2017
  • Guus Hiddink 1994–1998, 2014–2015
  • Frank Rijkaard 1998–2000
  • Louis van Gaal 2000–2002, 2012–2014
  • Marco van Basten 2004–2008
  • Bert van Marwijk 2008–2012
  • Danny Blind 2015–2017
  • Fred Grim 2017 (caretaker)
  • Ronald Koeman 2018–2020
  • Frank de Boer 2020–

Players

Current squad

The following 26 players were called up to the squad for UEFA Euro 2020 and the preceding friendly matches against  Scotland and  Georgia.[94]
Caps and goals updated as of 30 March 2021, after the match against Gibraltar.

No. Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club
1 1GK Marco Bizot (1991-03-10) 10 March 1991 1 0 AZ
13 1GK Maarten Stekelenburg (1982-09-22) 22 September 1982 58 0 Ajax
23 1GK Tim Krul (1988-04-03) 3 April 1988 14 0 Norwich City

17 2DF Daley Blind (1990-03-09) 9 March 1990 77 2 Ajax
6 2DF Stefan de Vrij (1992-02-05) 5 February 1992 43 3 Internazionale
2 2DF Joël Veltman (1992-01-15) 15 January 1992 27 2 Brighton & Hove Albion
3 2DF Matthijs de Ligt (1999-08-12) 12 August 1999 26 2 Juventus
4 2DF Nathan Aké (1995-02-18) 18 February 1995 19 2 Manchester City
22 2DF Denzel Dumfries (1996-04-18) 18 April 1996 17 0 PSV
12 2DF Patrick van Aanholt (1990-08-29) 29 August 1990 13 0 Crystal Palace
5 2DF Owen Wijndal (1999-11-28) 28 November 1999 7 0 AZ
26 2DF Jurriën Timber (2001-06-17) 17 June 2001 0 0 Ajax

8 3MF Georginio Wijnaldum (Vice-captain) (1990-11-11) 11 November 1990 73 22 Liverpool
21 3MF Frenkie de Jong (1997-05-12) 12 May 1997 25 1 Barcelona
16 3MF Davy Klaassen (1993-02-21) 21 February 1993 22 5 Ajax
15 3MF Marten de Roon (1991-03-29) 29 March 1991 21 0 Atalanta
20 3MF Donny van de Beek (1997-04-18) 18 April 1997 19 3 Manchester United
14 3MF Ryan Gravenberch (2002-05-16) 16 May 2002 3 0 Ajax
24 3MF Teun Koopmeiners (1998-02-28) 28 February 1998 1 0 AZ

10 4FW Memphis Depay (1994-02-13) 13 February 1994 62 23 Lyon
11 4FW Quincy Promes (1992-01-04) 4 January 1992 47 7 Spartak Moscow
19 4FW Luuk de Jong (1990-08-27) 27 August 1990 35 8 Sevilla
7 4FW Steven Berghuis (1991-12-19) 19 December 1991 24 2 Feyenoord
18 4FW Donyell Malen (1999-01-19) 19 January 1999 8 2 PSV
9 4FW Wout Weghorst (1992-08-07) 7 August 1992 4 0 VfL Wolfsburg
25 4FW Cody Gakpo (1999-05-07) 7 May 1999 0 0 PSV

Recent call-ups

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

Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club Latest call-up
GK Jasper Cillessen (1989-04-22) 22 April 1989 60 0 Valencia UEFA Euro 2020 COV
GK Joël Drommel (1996-11-16) 16 November 1996 0 0 Twente v.  Turkey, 24 March 2021 PRE
GK Justin Bijlow (1998-01-22) 22 January 1998 0 0 Feyenoord v.  Spain, 11 November 2020 INJ
GK Jeroen Zoet (1991-01-06) 6 January 1991 11 0 Spezia v.  Mexico, 7 October 2020 PRE

DF Kenny Tete (1995-10-09) 9 October 1995 14 0 Fulham UEFA Euro 2020 PRE
DF Hans Hateboer (1994-01-09) 9 January 1994 11 0 Atalanta UEFA Euro 2020 PRE
DF Rick Karsdorp (1995-02-11) 11 February 1995 3 0 Roma UEFA Euro 2020 PRE
DF Jerry St. Juste (1996-10-19) 19 October 1996 0 0 Mainz 05 UEFA Euro 2020 PRE
DF Sven Botman (2000-01-12) 12 January 2000 0 0 Lille v.  Poland, 18 November 2020
DF Perr Schuurs (1999-11-26) 26 November 1999 0 0 Ajax v.  Spain, 11 November 2020 PRE
DF Daley Sinkgraven (1995-07-04) 4 July 1995 0 0 Bayer Leverkusen v.  Spain, 11 November 2020 PRE
DF Virgil van Dijk (Captain) (1991-07-08) 8 July 1991 38 4 Liverpool v.  Italy, 14 October 2020 INJ
DF Timothy Fosu-Mensah (1998-01-02) 2 January 1998 3 0 Bayer Leverkusen v.  Mexico, 7 October 2020 PRE

MF Tonny Vilhena (1995-01-03) 3 January 1995 15 0 Krasnodar UEFA Euro 2020 PRE
MF Kevin Strootman (1990-02-13) 13 February 1990 46 3 Genoa v.  Turkey, 24 March 2021 PRE
MF Pablo Rosario (1997-01-07) 7 January 1997 1 0 PSV v.  Spain, 11 November 2020 PRE
MF Davy Pröpper (1991-09-02) 2 September 1991 19 3 Brighton & Hove Albion v.  Mexico, 7 October 2020 PRE
MF Leroy Fer (1990-01-05) 5 January 1990 11 1 Feyenoord v.  Mexico, 7 October 2020 PRE

FW Steven Bergwijn (1997-10-08) 8 October 1997 12 1 Tottenham Hotspur UEFA Euro 2020 PRE
FW Anwar El Ghazi (1995-05-03) 3 May 1995 2 0 Aston Villa UEFA Euro 2020 PRE
FW Ryan Babel (1986-12-19) 19 December 1986 69 10 Galatasaray v.  Gibraltar, 30 March 2021
FW Calvin Stengs (1998-12-18) 18 December 1998 7 0 AZ v.  Gibraltar, 30 March 2021
FW Javairô Dilrosun (1998-06-22) 22 June 1998 1 0 Hertha BSC v.  Spain, 11 November 2020 PRE
FW Mohamed Ihattaren (2002-02-12) 12 February 2002 0 0 PSV v.  Spain, 11 November 2020 INJ
FW Myron Boadu (2001-01-14) 14 January 2001 1 1 AZ v.  Mexico, 7 October 2020 PRE

COV Player withdrew from the squad due to contracting COVID-19.
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 a suspension.
PRI Player absent due to private circumstances.

Records

As of 18 November 2020[95]
Players in bold text are still active with the Netherlands.

Most capped players

Wesley Sneijder is the Netherlands' most capped player with 134 appearances.
# Name Matches Goals Career
1 Wesley Sneijder 134 31 2003–2018
2 Edwin van der Sar 130 0 1995–2008
3 Frank de Boer 112 13 1990–2004
4 Rafael van der Vaart 109 25 2001–2013
5 Giovanni van Bronckhorst 106 6 1996–2010
6 Dirk Kuyt 104 24 2004–2014
7 Robin van Persie 102 50 2005–2017
8 Phillip Cocu 101 10 1996–2006
9 Arjen Robben 96 37 2003–2017
10 John Heitinga 87 7 2004–2013
Clarence Seedorf 87 11 1994–2008

Top goalscorers

Striker Robin van Persie is the Netherlands' top scorer with 50 goals.
# Name Goals Matches Ratio Career
1 Robin van Persie 50 102 0.49 2005–2017
2 Klaas-Jan Huntelaar 42 76 0.55 2006–2017
3 Patrick Kluivert 40 79 0.51 1994–2004
4 Dennis Bergkamp 37 79 0.47 1990–2000
Arjen Robben 37 96 0.39 2003–2017
6 Faas Wilkes 35 38 0.92 1946–1961
Ruud van Nistelrooy 35 70 0.5 1998–2011
8 Abe Lenstra 33 47 0.7 1940–1959
Johan Cruyff 33 48 0.69 1966–1977
10 Wesley Sneijder 31 134 0.23 2003–2018

Competitive record

Overview
Event 1st place 2nd place 3rd place 4th place
FIFA World Cup 0 3 1 1
UEFA European Championship 1 0 4 0
UEFA Nations League 0 1 0 0
Olympic Games 0 0 3 1
Total 1 4 8 2

FIFA World Cup

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).[96][97]

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.[20] 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.[25]

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.[33][98] 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.[38] 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.[99]

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.[50] 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.[55][56] In the semi-final, they defeated Uruguay in a tough game for the Dutch, making their first World Cup final since 1978.[100] 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.[101][57]

In 2014, the Netherlands finish atop Group B with wins over Spain, Australia and Chile.[102] In the round of 16 match against Mexico, 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.[64] In the quarter-finals, they defeated Costa Rica on penalties however they lost to Argentina on penalties in the semi-final. The Netherlands took bronze in the tournament after defeating host nation Brazil 3–0 in the third-place playoff.[65][103]

  Champions    Runners-up    Third place    Fourth place  

FIFA World Cup record Qualification record
Year Round Position Pld W D* L GF GA Squad Pld W D L GF GA
1930 Did not enter Declined participation
1934 Round of 16 9th 1 0 0 1 2 3 Squad 2 2 0 0 9 4
1938 Round of 16 14th 1 0 0 1 0 3 Squad 2 1 1 0 5 1
1950 Did not enter Declined participation
1954
1958Did not qualify 4 2 1 1 12 7
1962 3 0 2 1 4 7
1966 6 2 2 2 6 4
1970 6 3 1 2 9 5
1974 Runners-up2nd 7 5 1 1 15 3 Squad 6 4 2 0 24 2
1978 Runners-up 2nd 7 3 2 2 15 10 Squad 6 5 1 0 11 3
1982 Did not qualify 8 4 1 3 11 7
1986 8 4 1 3 13 7
1990 Round of 16 15th 4 0 3 1 3 4 Squad 6 4 2 0 8 2
1994 Quarter-finals 7th 5 3 0 2 8 6 Squad 10 6 3 1 29 9
1998 Fourth place 4th 7 3 3 1 13 7 Squad 8 6 1 1 26 4
2002 Did not qualify 10 6 2 2 30 9
2006 Round of 16 11th 4 2 1 1 3 2 Squad 12 10 2 0 27 3
2010 Runners-up 2nd 7 6 0 1 12 6 Squad 8 8 0 0 17 2
2014 Third place 3rd 7 5 2 0 15 4 Squad 10 9 1 0 34 5
2018 Did not qualify 10 6 1 3 21 12
2022 To be determined To be determined
2026
Total Runners-up 10/21 50 27 12 11 86 48 123 80 24 19 291 92
*Denotes draws including knockout matches decided on penalty kicks.

UEFA European Championship

UEFA European Championship record Qualifying record
Year Round Position Pld W D* L GF GA Squad Pld W D L GF GA
1960 Did not enter Did not enter
1964 Did not qualify 4 1 2 1 6 5
1968 6 2 1 3 11 11
1972 6 3 1 2 18 6
1976 Third place 3rd 2 1 0 1 4 5 Squad 8 6 0 2 21 9
1980 Group stage 5th 3 1 1 1 4 4 Squad 8 6 1 1 20 6
1984 Did not qualify 8 6 1 1 22 6
1988 Champions 1st 5 4 0 1 8 3 Squad 8 6 2 0 15 1
1992 Third place 3rd 4 2 2 0 6 3 Squad 8 6 1 1 17 2
1996 Quarter-finals 8th 4 1 2 1 3 4 Squad 11 7 2 2 25 5
2000 Third place 3rd 5 4 1 0 13 3 Squad Qualified as hosts
2004 Third place 3rd 5 1 2 2 7 6 Squad 10 7 1 2 21 12
2008 Quarter-finals 6th 4 3 0 1 10 4 Squad 12 8 2 2 15 5
2012 Group stage 15th 3 0 0 3 2 5 Squad 10 9 0 1 37 8
2016 Did not qualify 10 4 1 5 17 14
2020 Qualified 8 6 1 1 24 7
2024 To be determined To be determined
Total 1 Title 10/16 35 17 8 10 57 37 112 73 15 24 261 88
*Denotes draws including knockout matches decided on penalty kicks.

UEFA Nations League

UEFA Nations League record
Season** Division Group Pld W D* L GF GA P/R RK Squad
2018–19 A 1 63121162nd Squad
2020–21 A 1 632174 6th
2022–23 A To be determined
Total 12 6 3 3 18 10 2nd
*Denotes draws including knockout matches decided on penalty kicks.
**Group stage played home and away. Flag shown represents host nation for the finals stage.

Olympic Games

Olympic Games record
Year Round Pld W D L GF GA Squad
1908Third place210124Squad
1912Third place4301178Squad
1920Third place4202910Squad
1924Fourth place5212117Squad
1928First round100102Squad
1936 Did not enter
1948First round210165Squad
1952Preliminary round100115Squad
1956 Did not enter
1960
1964
1968
1972
1976
1980
1984 Did not qualify
1988
1992
1996
2000
2004
2008 Quarter-finals412144Squad
2012 Did not qualify
2016
2020
Total 8/25 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).

FIFA Rankings

Last update was on 19 December 2019. Source:[104] The FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking - Associations - Netherlands - Men's - FIFA.com

  Worst Ranking    Best Ranking    Worst Mover    Best Mover  

Netherlands's FIFA world rankings
Rank Year Games
played
Won Drawn Lost Best Worst
Rank Move Rank Move
719937512 2 516 9
6199415933 2 911 6
619959504 5 1217 9
9199611632 6 713 5
2219977412 4 422 10
 11199815852 6 1925 11
1919999072 8 319 3
8200014941 8 1321 2
8200110631 7 210 1
620027610 6 415 6
4200311632 4 27 3
6200417854 4 16 1
3200511731 2 27 1
7200614644 3 06 3
9200712732 5 29 3
3200815636 3 510 1
3200911533 2 13 1
22010171511 2 24 1
 2201111622 1 12 1
8201213716 2 28 4
9201312750 5 49 4
5201417935 3 1215 4
1420159414 5 216 7
 22201611533 14 426 12
 20201711803 20 936 11
14201810442 14 221 1
14201910712 12 116 2

See also

  • 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
  • Bonaire national football team
  • Curaçao national football team
  • Sint Maarten national football team

Footnotes

  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. 1974, 1984–1985, 1986–1988, 1990–1992

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