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Shirt badge/Association crest
Nickname(s) Oranje
The Flying Dutchmen
A Clockwork Orange
La Machina Naranja
Association Koninklijke Nederlandse Voetbalbond — KNVB
Confederation UEFA (Europe)
Head coach Bert van Marwijk
Asst coach Philip Cocu
Frank de Boer
Dick Voorn
Captain Giovanni van Bronckhorst
Most caps Edwin van der Sar (130)
Top scorer Patrick Kluivert (40)
Home stadium Amsterdam Arena
De Kuip
Philips Stadion
FIFA ranking 3
Highest FIFA ranking 2 (November 1993, June 2009)
Lowest FIFA ranking 25 (May 1998)
Elo ranking 3
Highest Elo ranking 1 (Mar 1911-Mar 1912, Jun 1912, Aug 1920; Jun 1978, Jun 1988-Jun 1990, Jun-Sep 1992, Jun 2002, Jun-Sep 2003, Oct 2005, Jun 2008)
Lowest Elo ranking 56 (October 1954)
Home colours
Away colours
First international
Belgium Belgium 1–4 Netherlands Netherlands
(Antwerp, Belgium; 30 April 1905)
Biggest win
Netherlands Netherlands 9–0 Finland Finland
(Solna, Sweden; 4 July 1912)
Netherlands Netherlands 9–0 Norway Norway
(Rotterdam, Netherlands; 1 November 1972)
Biggest defeat
England England Am. 12–2 Netherlands Netherlands
(Darlington, England; 21 December 1907)
World Cup
Appearances 9 (First in 1934)
Best result Runners-up, 1974 and 1978
European Championship
Appearances 8 (First in 1976)
Best result Winners, 1988

The Netherlands national football team is the national football team of the Netherlands and is controlled by the Royal Netherlands Football Association (KNVB). It won Euro '88 and reached two consecutive World Cup finals in 1974 and 1978, but lost both finals to their respective host nations, West Germany and Argentina. At the peak of its success in the 1970s, the team was famous for its mastery of Total Football and was nicknamed Clockwork Oranje for its precision passing. In many countries and even the Netherlands itself, the team is colloquially referred to as Holland. It is currently ranked third in the FIFA World Rankings and third in the World Football Elo Ratings.



Dutch squad for their first international match

The Netherlands played their first international match in Antwerp against Belgium on 30 April 1905 and won 4–1.

The Netherlands made their first appearance at the World Cup final tournament in 1934, and after coming back in 1938, the Dutch national team entered the wilderness of world football.


History to 1970

Not until a shift to a national league and full professionalism in the 1950s did the fortunes of the Netherlands improve at both club and international level. In the 1958 World Cup qualifiers, they finished two points behind Austria, having lost 3–2 in Vienna after leading 2–0. The team saw continuous improvement throughout the 1960s.

Total Football

They came out of this wilderness in the 1970s with the invention of Total Football (Dutch: Totaalvoetbal), pioneered by Ajax and led by playmaker Johan Cruyff and national team coach Rinus Michels. The Dutch made huge strides, qualifying for two World Cup finals in the decade.

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

In 1974, the Netherlands beat both Brazil and Argentina in the second group stage, reaching the final for the first time in their history. However, the team lost to West Germany in the final in Munich, despite having gone 1–0 up through Johan Neeskens' early penalty kick before any German had even touched the ball. The Dutch were trying to embarrass the Germans at home while they were only up 1–0. This would prove their undoing. Supported by the crowd, a converted penalty by Paul Breitner and the late game-winner from Gerd Müller led to a victory for the Germans. In spite of losing the final, the Clockwork Oranje and Johan Cruyff had already written a new page in football's history.

By comparison, Euro '76 was a disappointment. The Netherlands lost in the semi-finals to Czechoslovakia, as much because of fighting within the squad and the coach George Knobel, as well as the skill of the eventual winners.

In 1978, the Netherlands again reached the final of a World Cup, only to be again beaten by the hosts, Argentina. This side played without Johan Cruyff, Willem van Hanegem, and Jan van Beveren, who refused to participate in the World Cup. It still contained players such as Johan Neeskens, Johnny Rep, Arie Haan, Ruud Krol and Rob Rensenbrink from the 1974 selection. This time the Netherlands were less impressive in the group stages, as they qualified only as runners-up, after a draw with Peru and a loss to Scotland. In the second group phase, however, the Netherlands topped a group including Italy and West Germany, setting up a final with Argentina. However, the Dutch finished as runners up for the second World Cup in a row as they ultimately lost 3–1 after two extra time goals from Argentina. Agonisingly for the Dutch, Rensenbrink hit the Argentinian post in the last minute of normal time, with the score 1–1.

Euro '80 was the last tournament that the generation of Total Football qualified for, but they did not advance past the group stage, despite the tournament format being expanded that year. Veterans such as Krol and Rensenbrink retired soon afterwards and the Netherlands missed the 1982 World Cup, Euro '84, and the 1986 World Cup in succession.

European Champions

Rinus Michels returned to coach the team for the Euro '88 tournament. After losing the first group match against the Soviet Union (1–0), the Netherlands went on to qualify for the semi-final by defeating England 3–1 (with a hat-trick by the tournament's top scorer Marco van Basten), and Republic of Ireland (1–0). For many Dutch football supporters, the most important match in the tournament was the semi-final against West Germany, the host country, considered a revenge for the lost 1974 World Cup final (also in West Germany). Marco van Basten, who would later become national team coach, scored in the 89th minute of the game to sink the German side. The game is also remembered for its post-match shenanigans, including Ronald Koeman, who, in front of the German supporters, provocatively pretended to wipe his backside with the shirt of Olaf Thon as if it were toilet paper, an action Koeman later regretted.[1] The Netherlands won the final with a convincing victory over the USSR, a rematch on the round robin game, through a header by Ruud Gullit and a volley by van Basten. This was the national team's first major tournament win and it restored them to the forefront of international football after almost a decade in the wilderness for almost three years to come.

Despite high expectations as the team entered the 1990 World Cup, that tournament was not a success. Van Basten failed to score, as he was frequently marked by opposing defenders, while Gullit was ineffective having not fully recovered from injury. The Dutch managed to advance despite drawing all three group games, meeting their arch-rivals West Germany in the round of 16. The match is most remembered for the spitting-incident involving Frank Rijkaard and Rudi Völler as the Netherlands lost 2–1.

The team subsequently reached the semi-finals in the Euro '92, which was noted for the emergence of Dennis Bergkamp, but they were eliminated by eventual champions Denmark, with Van Basten's kick in the penalty shootout being saved by Peter Schmeichel. This was also van Basten's last major tournament, as he retired shortly after due to injury.

In the 1994 World Cup, 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.

1998 World Cup and Euro 2000

Dutch supporters

At Euro '96, after drawing 0–0 with Scotland and beating Switzerland 2–0, they faced the hosts England in the pool A decider, with both teams on 4 points. After 62 minutes, with Scotland beating Switzerland 1–0, the Netherlands were 4–0 down and looked like finishing third behind Scotland on goal difference and going out of the tournament, but Patrick Kluivert converted a Dennis Bergkamp assist and scored in the 78th minute to see the Dutch finish second on goals scored. They then played France in the quarter-finals, drawing 0–0 and being eliminated 5–4 on penalties.

In the 1998 World Cup, Netherlands, whose team included Marc Overmars, Phillip Cocu, Edgar Davids, Frank de Boer, Ronald de Boer, and Patrick Kluivert, met Argentina in the quarter-final, a rematch of the 1978 final. Near the end of regular time, after an unsuccessful dive to draw a penalty, Argentinian Ariel Ortega head-butted Edwin van der Sar.[2] Ortega was sent off and the Netherlands won 2–1 after a Bergkamp goal in the 89th minute. Bergkamp's goal was famous because of its quality — he touched down a 60-yard (55 m) pass from Frank de Boer then reverse-flicked it inside Roberto Ayala and finally volleyed it past the Argentine goalkeeper. In the semi-final, the Netherlands took Brazil to a penalty shootout after a late Kluivert goal tied the match 1–1, but Brazil won the shootout 4–2 and advanced to the final. Netherlands lost the third place match 2–1 to upstart Croatia.

Netherlands co-hosted Euro 2000 with Belgium and were one of the favourites coming into the tournament. Getting all three wins in the group stage, including a win over reigning World Cup champions France, they then crushed Yugoslavia 6–1 in the quarter-finals, with Kluivert getting a hat-trick. In the semi-finals, their opponents, Italy, went down to ten men in the first half and the Netherlands were awarded two penalty kicks but failed to convert either chance. Italian goalkeeper Francesco Toldo made two saves in the shootout (in addition to his penalty saves in regulation time) to eliminate the Netherlands. Coach Frank Rijkaard was widely criticized by the press as the Dutch had squandered several chances to kill the game and he resigned, with Louis van Gaal taking over. Dennis Bergkamp retired from the national team after Euro 2000, having failed to score during the tournament.


Netherlands at the 2006 World Cup

Netherlands failed to qualify for the 2002 World Cup, with crucial losses to Portugal and the Republic of Ireland, the latter of which eliminated them from the Finals tournament. Van Gaal resigned at the conclusion of the Netherlands' unsuccessful campaign.

Netherlands reached the semifinals of Euro 2004 but lost to Portugal. Coach Dick Advocaat was criticized for his tactics and player changes and stepped down after the tournament. Also, many of the team's World Cup veterans like Frank and Ronald de Boer, Edgar Davids, Clarence Seedorf, Marc Overmars, Jaap Stam, and Patrick Kluivert had either retired or were not selected for the upcoming World Cup by new coach Marco van Basten.

Training in Germany

The Netherlands qualified for the 2006 World Cup in Germany and finished second in Group C after beating Serbia & Montenegro (1–0) and the Côte d'Ivoire (2–1) and drawing Argentina (0–0). Both Argentina and the Netherlands finished the group stage with seven points, but the Argentinians had a superior goal difference and finished first as a result. The Dutch were eliminated in the second round after losing 1–0 to Portugal, in a match that produced 16 yellow cards (which matched the World Cup record for most cautions in one game set in 2002) and set a new World Cup record of four red cards (two for either side) and was nicknamed "the Battle of Nuremberg" by the press[3]. Despite criticism surrounding his selection policy and the lack of attacking football from his team, Marco van Basten was offered a two-year extension to his contract by the Dutch FA, which would allow him to serve as national coach during Euro 2008 and the 2010 World Cup. The move was widely regarded as a vote of confidence in van Basten and his assistants by the KNVB officials.[4]

Euro 2008

Netherlands – Italy

The Netherlands began their Euro 2008 campaign with a win in Luxembourg on 2 September 2006. On 8 September 2007, the Oranje beat Bulgaria at the Amsterdam ArenA on goals by Wesley Sneijder and Ruud van Nistelrooy. On 12 September 2007, the Netherlands won a hard fought victory against Albania, with van Nistelrooy scoring the winning goal in stoppage time. This win took the Dutch squad into second place in Group G, on par with Romania for points, but behind on goal differential. The Oranje were beaten 1–0 in Romania on 13 October 2007, but four days later, the Netherlands' 2–0 victory over Slovenia, while rivals Bulgaria could only draw in Albania, left the Dutch needing one win from their last two games, at home to Luxembourg and away to Belarus, to qualify for Euro 2008.

The Netherlands played their first game in 2008 against Croatia in Split. The team, without Ruud van Nistelrooy, Robin van Persie, Clarence Seedorf, Orlando Engelaar, and Arjen Robben, won the match 3–0. The first goal was scored by John Heitinga on a header, while Klaas-Jan Huntelaar scored the second goal on an assist from Tim de Cler. The final goal came from Celtic striker Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink. The team used a new formation under Marco van Basten, scrapping the previously used 4–3–3 formation for a 4–2–3–1.

The Dutch team was a participant in the "Group of Death", together with France, Italy, and Romania. They began Euro 2008 with a 3–0 win over World Cup Champion Italy in Berne on 9 June 2008. This was the Netherlands' first victory over Italy since 1978. In their second group match against France on 13 June 2008, the Netherlands won convincingly with a 4–1 score. The Dutch closed out an incredible group stage campaign with a 2–0 win over Romania. However, they lost in the quarter-final to former coach Guus Hiddink's Russia by 3–1, despite a late 86th minute equaliser by Ruud van Nistelrooy. The Russians ended the Dutch run with two goals in extra time.

2010 World Cup qualification

The Dutch team went on to secure a 100 percent record in their qualification campaign,winning all of their eight games and becoming the first European team to book their tickets for SA 2010. The World Cup Draw in Cape Town on the 4th of December, 2009 saw the Dutch being placed alongside Denmark, Cameroon and Japan in Group E.

Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
 Netherlands 8 8 0 0 17 2 +15 24
 Norway 8 2 4 2 9 7 +2 10
 Scotland 8 3 1 4 6 11 −5 10
 Macedonia 8 2 1 5 5 11 −6 7
 Iceland 8 1 2 5 7 13 −6 5
  Iceland Republic of Macedonia Netherlands Norway Scotland
Iceland  1 – 0 1 – 2 1 – 1 1 – 2
Macedonia  2 – 0 1 – 2 0 – 0 1 – 0
Netherlands  2 – 0 4 – 0 2 – 0 3 – 0
Norway  2 – 2 2 – 1 0 – 1 4 – 0
Scotland  2 – 1 2 – 0 0 – 1 0 – 0

Last 5 and known next games

Date Venue Opponent Competition Result
September 09, 2009 Hampden Park,  Scotland  Scotland WCQ2010 0 - 1 W
October 10, 2009 Sydney Football Stadium,  Australia  Australia F 0 - 0 D
November 14, 2009 Stadio Adriatico,  Italy  Italy F 0 - 0 D
November 18, 2009 Abe Lenstra Stadion,  Netherlands  Paraguay F 0 - 0 D
March 03, 2010 Amsterdam Arena,  Netherlands  United States F 2 - 1 W
May 26, 2010 Dreisamstadion,  Germany  Mexico F
June 01, 2010 De Kuip,  Netherlands  Ghana F
June 05, 2010 Amsterdam Arena,  Netherlands  Hungary F
June 14, 2010 Soccer City,  South Africa  Denmark WCF2010
June 19, 2010 Moses Mabhida Stadium,  South Africa  Japan WCF2010
June 24, 2010 Cape Town Stadium,  South Africa  Cameroon WCF2010
August 11, 2010  Ukraine F

KEY: F = Friendly match; WCQ2010 = 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification; WCF2010 = 2010 FIFA World Cup


Coat of arms of the Netherlands
Dutch fans wearing the traditional orange colours of the national team at a 2006 World Cup match at the Gottlieb-Daimler-Stadion, Stuttgart

The Netherlands national football plays in a bright orange shirt. Orange is the historic national colour of the Netherlands, originating from the coat of arms of the Dutch founding father William of Orange-Nassau. The top red band of the current flag was originally orange. The current Dutch away shirt is white, with two thin lines outlining a chevron containing the colors of the Dutch flag. Occasionally, orange socks are worn instead of light blue socks, such as in the qualifier against Scotland on March 28, 2009.

Nike is the kit provider to the national team, a sponsorship that began in 1996 and is contracted to continue until at least 2018.

Current squad

The following players have been called up for the friendly match against United States on 3 March 2010.

Caps and goals as of 10 October 2009

No. Pos. Player DoB (Age) Caps Goals Club
1 GK Maarten Stekelenburg September 22, 1982 (1982-09-22) (age 27) 25 0 Netherlands Ajax
16 GK Sander Boschker October 20, 1970 (1970-10-20) (age 39) 0 0 Netherlands Twente
13 GK Piet Velthuizen November 3, 1986 (1986-11-03) (age 23) 1 0 Netherlands Vitesse
5 DF Giovanni van Bronckhorst Captain sports.svg February 5, 1975 (1975-02-05) (age 35) 97 5 Netherlands Feyenoord
20 DF Ron Vlaar February 16, 1985 (1985-02-16) (age 25) 3 0 Netherlands Feyenoord
2 DF Gregory van der Wiel February 3, 1988 (1988-02-03) (age 22) 8 0 Netherlands Ajax
12 DF André Ooijer July 11, 1974 (1974-07-11) (age 35) 53 3 Netherlands PSV
15 DF Edson Braafheid April 8, 1983 (1983-04-08) (age 26) 6 0 Scotland Celtic
3 DF John Heitinga November 15, 1983 (1983-11-15) (age 26) 51 6 England Everton
4 DF Joris Mathijsen April 5, 1980 (1980-04-05) (age 29) 53 3 Germany Hamburg
18 MF Orlando Engelaar August 24, 1979 (1979-08-24) (age 30) 13 0 Netherlands PSV
17 MF Ibrahim Afellay April 2, 1986 (1986-04-02) (age 23) 20 0 Netherlands PSV
22 MF Stijn Schaars January 11, 1984 (1984-01-11) (age 26) 11 0 Netherlands AZ
14 MF Demy de Zeeuw May 26, 1983 (1983-05-26) (age 26) 23 0 Netherlands Ajax
6 MF Mark van Bommel April 22, 1977 (1977-04-22) (age 32) 54 9 Germany Bayern Munich
8 MF Nigel de Jong November 30, 1984 (1984-11-30) (age 25) 40 1 England Manchester City
23 MF Rafael van der Vaart February 11, 1983 (1983-02-11) (age 27) 75 15 Spain Real Madrid
10 MF Wesley Sneijder June 9, 1984 (1984-06-09) (age 25) 59 12 Italy Internazionale
9 FW Dirk Kuyt July 22, 1980 (1980-07-22) (age 29) 60 14 England Liverpool
21 FW Ryan Babel December 19, 1986 (1986-12-19) (age 23) 38 5 England Liverpool
7 FW Arjen Robben January 23, 1984 (1984-01-23) (age 26) 46 11 Germany Bayern Munich
11 FW Eljero Elia February 13, 1987 (1987-02-13) (age 23) 5 2 Germany Hamburg
19 FW Klaas-Jan Huntelaar August 12, 1983 (1983-08-12) (age 26) 30 15 Italy Milan

Recent call-ups

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

Pos. Player DoB (Age) Caps Goals Club Latest call-up
GK Michel Vorm October 20, 1983 (1983-10-20) (age 26) 3 0 Netherlands Utrecht vs  Italy, 14 November 2009
GK Henk Timmer December 3, 1971 (1971-12-03) (age 38) 7 0 Netherlands Heerenveen vs  Norway, 10 June 2009
DF Khalid Boulahrouz December 28, 1981 (1981-12-28) (age 28) 28 0 Germany Stuttgart vs  Italy, 14 November 2009
DF Glenn Loovens October 22, 1983 (1983-10-22) (age 26) 1 0 Scotland Celtic vs  Australia, 10 October 2009
DF Dirk Marcellis August 13, 1988 (1988-08-13) (age 21) 2 0 Netherlands PSV vs  Norway, 10 June 2009
MF Wout Brama August 21, 1986 (1986-08-21) (age 23) 1 0 Netherlands Twente vs  Paraguay, 18 November 2009
MF Otman Bakkal February 27, 1985 (1985-02-27) (age 25) 1 0 Netherlands PSV vs  Paraguay, 18 November 2009
MF David Mendes da Silva August 4, 1982 (1982-08-04) (age 27) 7 0 Netherlands AZ vs  Australia, 10 October 2009
FW Robin van Persie August 6, 1983 (1983-08-06) (age 26) 41 14 England Arsenal vs  Italy, 14 November 2009

Past managers

Individual all-time records

     Still active players are highlighted

Most matches played

# Player Career Matches Goals
1. Edwin van der Sar 1995–2008 130 0
2. Frank de Boer 1990–2004 112 13
3. Phillip Cocu 1996–2006 101 10
4. Giovanni van Bronckhorst 1996–present 97 5
5. Clarence Seedorf 1994–2008 87 11
6. Marc Overmars 1993–2004 86 17
7. Aron Winter 1987–2000 84 6
8. Ruud Krol 1969–1983 83 4
9. Patrick Kluivert 1994–2004 79 40
Dennis Bergkamp 1990–2000 79 37
Last updated: 10 October 2009
Source: (Dutch)

Most goals scored

# Player Career Goals Matches Average
1. Patrick Kluivert 1994–2004 40 79 0.51
2. Dennis Bergkamp 1990–2000 37 79 0.47
3. Faas Wilkes 1946–1961 35 38 0.92
4. Abe Lenstra 1940–1959 33 47 0.70
Johan Cruyff 1966–1977 33 48 0.69
Ruud van Nistelrooy 1998–2008 33 64 0.51
7. Beb Bakhuys 1928–1937 28 23 1.22
8. Kick Smit 1935–1946 26 29 0.90
9. Marco van Basten 1983–1992 24 58 0.41
10. Leen Vente 1933–1940 19 21 0.90
Last updated: 10 October 2009
Source: (Dutch)


Friendly titles

  • Nelson Mandela Challenge Cup:
    • Winners (1): 1997
  • IX. Olympiad Amsterdam CONSOLATION TOURNAMENT:
    • Winners (1): 1928
  • International Amateur Tournament 1948:
    • Winners (1): 1948
  • Tournament International of Paris:
    • Winners (1): 1978
  • Nasazzi's Baton:
    • Winners (7): 1978, 1985, 1986, 1998, 2000, 2002 and 2009
  • KNVB 100th Anniversary:
    • Winners (1): 1989 (Shared) with Denmark

See also


External links

Preceded by
1984 - France 
European Champions
1988 (First title)
Succeeded by
1992 - Denmark 

Simple English

Association Royal Netherlands Football Association
Confederation UEFA
Nickname Oranje
Coach Bert van Marwijk
Most caps Edwin van der Sar (130)
Top scorer Patrick Kluivert (40)
World Cup
Appearances 9
First Apps 1934
Best result 2nd (1974, 1978, 2010)

Netherlands national football team is the national football team of Netherlands.

Most appearances

1Edwin van der Sar13001995-2008**
2Frank de Boer112131990-2004
3Phillip Cocu101101996-2006
4Clarence Seedorf87111994-present*
5Marc Overmars86171993-2004
5Giovanni van Bronckhorst8651996-2010
7Aron Winter8461987-2000
8Ruud Krol8341969-1983
9Patrick Kluivert79401994-2004
9Dennis Bergkamp79391990-2000
  • *Clarence Seedorf is still under contract of AC Milan, but he isn't selected for any international matches since 2008.
  • **As so for Edwin van der Sar, he is still playing for Manchester United FC but he quit international matches since 2008.

Top scorers

1Patrick Kluivert40791994-2004
2Dennis Bergkamp37791990-2000
3Faas Wilkes35381946-1961
4Ruud van Nistelrooy34641998-2008, 2010-present
5Johan Cruijff33481966-1977
5Abe Lenstra33471946-1961
7Bep Bakhuys28231928-1937
8Kick Smit26291928-1937
9Marco van Basten24581983-1992
10Leen Vente19211983-1992
10Klaas-Jan Huntelaar19372006-present
10Robin van Persie19512005-present
10Wesley Sneijder19692003-present


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