Netherlands national football team

Last updated

Netherlands national football team logo 2017.png
Nickname(s) Oranje
Clockwork Orange [1]
The Flying Dutchmen [2]
Association Koninklijke Nederlandse Voetbalbond (KNVB)
Confederation UEFA (Europe)
Head coach Ronald Koeman [3]
Captain Virgil van Dijk
Most caps Wesley Sneijder (134)
Top scorer Robin van Persie (50)
Home stadium Johan Cruyff Arena (54,990)
De Kuip (51,117)
Philips Stadion (35,000)
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First colours
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Second colours
FIFA ranking
Current 16 Decrease2.svg 2 (4 April 2019) [4]
Highest1 [5] (August–September 2011)
Lowest36 [6] (August 2017)
Elo ranking
Current 6 Increase2.svg 4 (27 March 2019) [7]
Highest 1 (1978, 1988–1990, 1992, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2008, 2010, 2014)
Lowest49 (October 1954)
First international
Flag of Belgium (civil).svg  Belgium 1–4 Netherlands  Flag of the Netherlands.svg
(Antwerp, Belgium; 30 April 1905)
Biggest win
Flag of the Netherlands.svg  Netherlands 11–0 San Marino  Flag of San Marino (before 2011).svg
(Eindhoven, Netherlands; 2 September 2011)
Biggest defeat
Flag of England.svg England Amateurs 12–2 Netherlands  Flag of the Netherlands.svg
(Darlington, England; 21 December 1907) [upper-alpha 1]
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 )
Website (in Dutch)

The Netherlands national football team [upper-alpha 2] has officially represented the Netherlands in international football since its initial match in 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 Legioen". [8]

Netherlands Constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Europe

The Netherlands is a country located mainly in Northwestern Europe. The European portion of the Netherlands consists of twelve separate provinces that border Germany to the east, Belgium to the south, and the North Sea to the northwest, with maritime borders in the North Sea with Belgium, Germany and the United Kingdom. Together with three island territories in the Caribbean Sea—Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba— it forms a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The official language is Dutch, but a secondary official language in the province of Friesland is West Frisian.

Association football Team field sport

Association football, more commonly known as football or soccer, is a team sport played with a spherical ball between two teams of eleven players. It is played by 250 million players in over 200 countries and dependencies, making it the world's most popular sport. The game is played on a rectangular field called a pitch with a goal at each end. The object of the game is to score by moving the ball beyond the goal line into the opposing goal.

Royal Dutch Football Association governing body of association football in the Netherlands

The Royal Dutch Football Association is the governing body of football in Netherlands. It organises the main Dutch football leagues, the amateur leagues, the KNVB Cup, and the Dutch men's and women's national teams.


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 football event in 1908, 1912 and 1920. The Netherlands has long-standing football rivalries with neighbors Belgium and Germany.

FIFA World Cup association football competition for mens national teams

The FIFA World Cup, often simply called the World Cup, is an international association football competition contested by the senior men's national teams of the members of the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), the sport's global governing body. The championship has been awarded every four years since the inaugural tournament in 1930, except in 1942 and 1946 when it was not held because of the Second World War. The current champion is France, which won its second title at the 2018 tournament in Russia.

1974 FIFA World Cup 1974 edition of the FIFA World Cup

The 1974 FIFA World Cup was the 10th FIFA World Cup, and was played in West Germany between 13 June and 7 July. The tournament marked the first time that the current trophy, the FIFA World Cup Trophy, created by the Italian sculptor Silvio Gazzaniga, was awarded. The previous trophy, the Jules Rimet Trophy, had been won for the third time by Brazil in 1970 and awarded permanently to the Brazilians. This was the first out of three World Cups to feature two rounds of group stages.

1978 FIFA World Cup 1978 edition of the FIFA World Cup

The 1978 FIFA World Cup, the 11th staging of the FIFA World Cup, quadrennial international football world championship tournament, was held in Argentina between 1 and 25 June.


Beginnings: 1905–1969

1905 Netherlands team Nederlands elftal 1905 colorized.jpg
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. [9] Some historians attribute one of the goals scored to Willem Hesselink.[ citation needed ]

Antwerp Municipality in Flemish Community, Belgium

Antwerp is a city in Belgium, and is the capital of Antwerp province in Flanders. With a population of 520,504, it is the most populous city proper in Belgium, and with 1,200,000 the second largest metropolitan region after Brussels.

Belgium national football team mens national association football team representing Belgium

The Belgian national football team has officially represented Belgium in association football since their maiden match in 1904. The squad is under the global jurisdiction of FIFA and is governed in Europe by UEFA—both of which were co-founded by the Belgian team's supervising body, the Royal Belgian Football Association (RBFA). Periods of regular Belgian representation at the highest international level, from 1920 to 1938, from 1982 to 2002 and again from 2014 onwards, have alternated with mostly unsuccessful qualification rounds. Most of Belgium's home matches are played at the King Baudouin Stadium in Brussels.

Eduard Karel Alexander de Neve was a Dutch football player, who played for Velocitas Breda, HBS Craeyenhout and the Netherlands national football team.

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]

At the 1908 Summer Olympics in London, Great Britain, an official football tournament between national representative selections was contested for the first time: football at the two previous games had been played between club teams. Eight teams entered, although Hungary and Bohemia withdrew before the start. Denmark's Sophus "Krølben" Nielsen set a record by scoring 10 goals in a 17-1 win against France. Great Britain won the gold. Among those representing the Danish team was the famous mathematician Harald Bohr.

London Capital of the United Kingdom

London is the capital and largest city of both England and the United Kingdom. Standing on the River Thames in the south-east of England, at the head of its 50-mile (80 km) estuary leading to the North Sea, London has been a major settlement for two millennia. Londinium was founded by the Romans. The City of London, London's ancient core − an area of just 1.12 square miles (2.9 km2) and colloquially known as the Square Mile − retains boundaries that follow closely its medieval limits. The City of Westminster is also an Inner London borough holding city status. Greater London is governed by the Mayor of London and the London Assembly.

Great Britain Olympic football team national association football team

The Great Britain Olympic football team is the men's football team that represents the United Kingdom at the Summer Olympic Games. The team is organised by the English Football Association (FA) as the footballing representative of the British Olympic Association. The team only competes in the Olympic Games. In other international football tournaments, the Home Nations of the United Kingdom are represented by their own national teams, a situation which pre-dated the establishment of a GB team.

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]

At the 1924 Summer Olympics held in Paris, Uruguay dominated the football tournament winning the gold medal.

Romania national football team national association football team

The Romania national football team represents Romania in international football and is controlled by the Romanian Football Federation. They are colloquially known as Tricolorii.

Cornelis ("Kees") Alidanis Pijl was a Dutch footballer who was active as a striker. Pijl played his whole career at Feyenoord and won eight caps for the Netherlands, scoring seven times, of which four against Romania at the 1924 Summer Olympics. After his career he managed Feyenoord from 1942 to 1946,

Netherlands make their way out to face Switzerland at the 1934 FIFA World Cup. Holland - Switzerland - Football World Cup 1934.jpg
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]

Football at the 1928 Summer Olympics 1928 edition of the association football torunament during the Olympic Summer Games

Football was one of the tournament at the 1928 Summer Olympics. It was won by Uruguay against Argentina, and was the last Olympic football tournament before the inception of the FIFA World Cup, which was held for the first time in 1930.

1934 FIFA World Cup 1934 edition of the FIFA World Cup

The 1934 FIFA World Cup was the second FIFA World Cup, the world championship for men's national association football teams. It took place in Italy from 27 May to 10 June 1934.

Kick Smit Dutch footballer and manager

Johannes Chrishostomus "Kick" Smit was a Dutch football player. He earned 29 caps and scored 26 goals for the Netherlands national football team, and played in the 1934 and 1938 World Cups. He is the first Netherlands football player who scored a goal in a World Cup. During his club career, he played for HFC Haarlem.

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

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 Bundesarchiv Bild 183-N0716-0311, Fussball-WM, BRD - Niederlande 2-1.jpg
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

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. [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 De Beker.jpg
The 1988 trophy on display in Amsterdam
Rinus Michels Rinus Michels 1984b.jpg
Rinus Michels

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

Netherlands at Euro 96 match against Scotland at the Villa Park stadium in Birmingham, England Scotland-holland euro 96.jpg
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 Training Netherlands in Freiburg.JPG
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 Holland - France Euro 2008 entrance into stadium.JPG
Netherlands – France at Euro 2008
Netherlands - Denmark at the 2010 World Cup Netherlands - Denmark WC2010.jpg
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. 2014 FIFIA World Cup, Semi final, NED-ARG(2).jpg
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–

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] On 9 September 2018, the Dutch made their debut in the UEFA Nations League against World Cup champions France, a 2–1 loss. The following match day, they won 3–0 against rivals Germany. In their next Nations League fixture, they beat France 2–0 followed by a 2–2 draw against Germany securing them advancement to the Nations League finals.

Team image

Kits and crest

Dutch fans wearing the traditional orange colours at a 2006 World Cup match in Stuttgart Netherlands fans - 2006 FIFA World Cup.jpg
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.

Nike is the national team's kit provider, a sponsorship that began in 1996 and is contracted to continue until at least 2026. [76] Before that the team was supplied by Adidas and Lotto. [77]


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. [78] [79]

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. [80] More recently, the Netherlands have also developed a rivalry with Spain. [81] 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

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. [82]


The Netherlands plays most of their matches at the Johan Cruyff Arena. Amsterdam ArenA1.jpg
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. [83] It was formally called the Amsterdam Arena until 2018 when it was renamed in memory of Johan Cruyff. [84]

Other venues that hosted Dutch international matches include the Feijenoord Stadion, which hosted two Dutch matches at UEFA Euro 2000, and the Philips Stadion where the national team has played a range of matches. [85]


There has been forty-two different managers who have taken the role as manager of the Netherlands national football team. [86]


Current squad

The following players were called for the UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying matches against Belarus and Germany on 21 and 24 March 2019 respectively. [87]
Caps and goals updated as of 24 March 2019, after the match against Germany.

No.Pos.PlayerDate of birth (age)CapsGoalsClub
11 GK Jasper Cillessen (1989-04-22) 22 April 1989 (age 29)480 Flag of Spain.svg Barcelona
131 GK Jeroen Zoet (1991-01-06) 6 January 1991 (age 28)110 Flag of the Netherlands.svg PSV
231 GK Marco Bizot (1991-03-10) 10 March 1991 (age 28)00 Flag of the Netherlands.svg AZ

22 DF Hans Hateboer (1994-01-09) 9 January 1994 (age 25)40 Flag of Italy.svg Atalanta
32 DF Matthijs de Ligt (1999-08-12) 12 August 1999 (age 19)151 Flag of the Netherlands.svg Ajax
42 DF Virgil van Dijk (Captain) (1991-07-08) 8 July 1991 (age 27)264 Flag of England.svg Liverpool
52 DF Nathan Aké (1995-02-18) 18 February 1995 (age 24)101 Flag of England.svg Bournemouth
122 DF Patrick van Aanholt (1990-08-29) 29 August 1990 (age 28)90 Flag of England.svg Crystal Palace
172 DF Daley Blind (1990-03-09) 9 March 1990 (age 29)622 Flag of the Netherlands.svg Ajax
222 DF Denzel Dumfries (1996-04-18) 18 April 1996 (age 23)50 Flag of the Netherlands.svg PSV

63 MF Pablo Rosario (1997-01-07) 7 January 1997 (age 22)10 Flag of the Netherlands.svg PSV
83 MF Georginio Wijnaldum (1990-11-11) 11 November 1990 (age 28)5511 Flag of England.svg Liverpool
153 MF Marten de Roon (1991-03-29) 29 March 1991 (age 28)100 Flag of Italy.svg Atalanta
163 MF Kevin Strootman (1990-02-13) 13 February 1990 (age 29)433 Flag of France.svg Marseille
183 MF Tonny Vilhena (1995-01-03) 3 January 1995 (age 24)150 Flag of the Netherlands.svg Feyenoord
203 MF Donny van de Beek (1997-04-18) 18 April 1997 (age 22)50 Flag of the Netherlands.svg Ajax
213 MF Frenkie de Jong (1997-05-12) 12 May 1997 (age 21)70 Flag of the Netherlands.svg Ajax

74 FW Steven Bergwijn (1997-10-08) 8 October 1997 (age 21)50 Flag of the Netherlands.svg PSV
94 FW Ryan Babel (1986-12-19) 19 December 1986 (age 32)568 Flag of England.svg Fulham
104 FW Memphis Depay (1994-02-13) 13 February 1994 (age 25)4616 Flag of France.svg Lyon
114 FW Quincy Promes (1992-01-04) 4 January 1992 (age 27)366 Flag of Spain.svg Sevilla
144 FW Steven Berghuis (1991-12-19) 19 December 1991 (age 27)140 Flag of the Netherlands.svg Feyenoord
194 FW Luuk de Jong (1990-08-27) 27 August 1990 (age 28)164 Flag of the Netherlands.svg PSV

Recent call-ups

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

Pos.PlayerDate of birth (age)CapsGoalsClubLatest call-up
GK Sergio Padt (1990-06-06) 6 June 1990 (age 28)00 Flag of the Netherlands.svg Groningen v. Flag of France.svg  France , 9 September 2018

DF Kenny Tete (1995-10-09) 9 October 1995 (age 23)130 Flag of France.svg Lyon v. Flag of Germany.svg  Germany , 24 March 2019 INJ
DF Stefan de Vrij (1992-02-05) 5 February 1992 (age 27)373 Flag of Italy.svg Internazionale v. Flag of Belarus.svg  Belarus , 21 March 2019 INJ
DF Daryl Janmaat (1989-07-22) 22 July 1989 (age 29)340 Flag of England.svg Watford v. Flag of France.svg  France , 9 September 2018
DF Terence Kongolo (1994-02-14) 14 February 1994 (age 25)40 Flag of England.svg Huddersfield Town v. Flag of Peru (state).svg  Peru , 6 September 2018 PRE
DF Timothy Fosu-Mensah (1998-01-02) 2 January 1998 (age 21)30 Flag of England.svg Fulham v. Flag of Peru (state).svg  Peru , 6 September 2018 PRE

MF Davy Pröpper (1991-09-02) 2 September 1991 (age 27)143 Flag of England.svg Brighton & Hove Albion v. Flag of Germany.svg  Germany , 24 March 2019 INJ
MF Ruud Vormer (1988-05-11) 11 May 1988 (age 30)40 Flag of Belgium (civil).svg Club Brugge v. Flag of France.svg  France , 9 September 2018
MF Guus Til (1997-12-22) 22 December 1997 (age 21)10 Flag of the Netherlands.svg AZ v. Flag of Peru (state).svg  Peru , 6 September 2018 PRE

FW Javairô Dilrosun (1998-06-22) 22 June 1998 (age 20)10 Flag of Germany.svg Hertha BSC v. Flag of Germany.svg  Germany , 19 November 2018
FW Arnaut Groeneveld (1997-01-31) 31 January 1997 (age 22)21 Flag of Belgium (civil).svg Club Brugge v. Flag of Belgium (civil).svg  Belgium , 16 October 2018
FW Justin Kluivert (1999-05-05) 5 May 1999 (age 19)20 Flag of Italy.svg Roma v. Flag of France.svg  France , 9 September 2018
FW Eljero Elia (1987-02-13) 13 February 1987 (age 32)302 Flag of Turkey.svg İstanbul Başakşehir v. Flag of Peru (state).svg  Peru , 6 September 2018 PRE
FW Wout Weghorst (1992-08-07) 7 August 1992 (age 26)30 Flag of Germany.svg VfL Wolfsburg v. Flag of Peru (state).svg  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.

Previous squads

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.




Most capped players

Wesley Sneijder is the most capped player in the history of Netherlands with 134 caps. Wesley2012.JPG
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.
#NameNetherlands careerMatchesGoals
1. Wesley Sneijder 2003–201813431
2. Edwin van der Sar 1995–20081300
3. Frank de Boer 1990–200411213
4. Rafael van der Vaart 2001–201310925
5. Giovanni van Bronckhorst 1996–20101066
6. Dirk Kuyt 2004–201410424
7. Robin van Persie 2005–10250
8. Phillip Cocu 1996–200610110
9. Arjen Robben 2003–20179637
10. John Heitinga 2004–2013877

Last updated: 6 September 2018
Source: (in Dutch)

Top goalscorers

Striker Robin van Persie is the top scorer in the history of Netherlands with 50 goals. Loco-Fener (10).jpg
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.
#NameNetherlands careerGoalsMatches
1. Robin van Persie 2005–50102
2. Klaas-Jan Huntelaar 2006–4276
3. Patrick Kluivert 1994–20044079
4. Dennis Bergkamp 1990–20003779
4. Arjen Robben 2003–20173796
6. Faas Wilkes 1946–19613538
6. Ruud van Nistelrooy 1998–20113570
8. Abe Lenstra 1940–19593347
8. Johan Cruyff 1966–19773348
10. Wesley Sneijder 2003–201831134

Last updated: 6 September 2018
Source: (in Dutch)

Competitive record

Event1st place2nd place3rd place4th place
World Cup 0311
European Championship 1040
Olympic Games 0031
Nations League 0000

FIFA World Cup record

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). [88] [89]

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] [90] 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. [91]

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. [92] 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. [93] [59]

In the [2014 series the Netherlands finish atop Group B with wins over Spain, Australia and Chile. [94] 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-final the Netherlands needed penalties to make it through to the semi-final where they were defeated by Argentina. [67] [95]

Netherlands's FIFA World Cup recordQualification record
Host nation(s)
and year
Flag of Uruguay.svg 1930 Did not enterDeclined participation
Flag of Italy (1861-1946).svg 1934 Round of 169th100123 Squad 220094
Flag of France.svg 1938 Round of 1614th100103 Squad 211051
Flag of Brazil (1889-1960).svg 1950 Did not enterDeclined participation
Flag of Switzerland.svg 1954
Flag of Sweden.svg 1958 Did not qualify4211127
Flag of Chile.svg 1962 302147
Flag of England.svg 1966 622264
Flag of Mexico.svg 1970 631295
Flag of Germany.svg 1974 Runners-Up 2nd7511153 Squad 6420242
Flag of Argentina.svg 1978 Runners-Up 2nd73221510 Squad 6510113
Flag of Spain.svg 1982 Did not qualify8413117
Flag of Mexico.svg 1986 8413137
Flag of Italy.svg 1990 Round of 1615th403134 Squad 642082
Flag of the United States.svg 1994 Quarter-finals7th530286 Squad 10631299
Flag of France.svg 1998 Fourth Place4th7331137 Squad 8611264
Flag of South Korea.svg Flag of Japan.svg 2002 Did not qualify10622309
Flag of Germany.svg 2006 Round of 1611th421132 Squad 121020273
Flag of South Africa.svg 2010 Runners-Up 2nd7601126 Squad 8800172
Flag of Brazil.svg 2014 Third Place3rd7520154 Squad 10910345
Flag of Russia.svg 2018 Did not qualify106132112
Flag of Qatar.svg 2022 To be determinedTo be determined
Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg Flag of Mexico.svg Flag of the United States.svg 2026
    Champions       Runners-up       Third place       Fourth place
* Draws include knockout matches decided on penalty kicks.

UEFA European Championship

Netherlands's UEFA European Championship recordQualification record
Flag of France.svg 1960 Did not enterDid not enter
Flag of Spain (1945-1977).svg 1964 Did not qualify412165
Flag of Italy.svg 1968 62131111
Flag of Belgium (civil).svg 1972 6312186
Flag of Yugoslavia (1946-1992).svg 1976 Third Place3rd2101458602219
Flag of Italy.svg 1980 Group Stage5th3111448611206
Flag of France.svg 1984 Did not qualify8611226
Flag of Germany.svg 1988 Champions 1st5401838620151
Flag of Sweden.svg 1992 Semi-finals3rd4220638611172
Flag of England.svg 1996 Quarter-finals8th41213411722255
Flag of Belgium (civil).svg Flag of the Netherlands.svg 2000 Semi-finals3rd5410133Qualified as hosts
Flag of Portugal.svg 2004 Semi-finals3rd512276107122112
Flag of Austria.svg Flag of Switzerland.svg 2008 Quarter-finals6th430110412822155
Flag of Poland.svg Flag of Ukraine.svg 2012 Group Stage15th30032510901378
Flag of France.svg 2016 Did not qualify104151714
Flag of Europe.svg 2020 Future event210163
Flag of Germany.svg 2024 Future event
Total1 Title9/153517810573711172152425688

Summer Olympic Games

Netherlands's Summer Olympic Games record
Host nation(s) / YearResultGPWD*LGSGA
Flag of the United Kingdom.svg 1908 Third Place210124
Flag of Sweden.svg 1912 Third Place4301178
Flag of Belgium (civil).svg 1920 Third Place4202910
Flag of France.svg 1924 Fourth Place5212117
Flag of the Netherlands.svg 1928 Round 1100102
Flag of the United Kingdom.svg 1948 Round 1210165
Flag of Finland.svg 1952 Preliminary Round100115

UEFA Nations League

Netherlands's UEFA Nations League record
Flag of Portugal.svg 2018–19 A SemifinalsTop 4421184
*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


  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

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