FIFA World Cup 2022 Netherlands National Team|History

Netherlands National Team – The Netherlands national football team is one of the strongest contenders in World football. They are often called one of the greatest national teams of all time. Thrice World Cup runners-up, the Euro Champions Dutch team has qualified eleven times for the FIFA World Cup.

The Netherlands directly booked the seat for Qatar World Cup after topping the chart of Group G from the European region. Let’s dive into its history, playing squad, greatest players of all time, and many more here.

Brief History of Netherlands Football

Early History

The Netherlands began playing football in the early 1900s. It is a founding member of FIFA. The Dutch (Netherlands football team) first played their international match against Belgium in April 1905. They won their first match and scored 4-1 against Belgium.

Netherlands at the 1912 Olympic Games
Netherlands national team at the 1912 Summer Olympics. Source: Wikiwand

In 1908, the Dutch team participated in the Summer Olympics in London and earned a bronze medal. Then, it played several friendly matches until the First World War. It also earned two bronze medals in the Summer Olympics of 1912 and 1920.

However, the Dutch team got eliminated from the first round at the 1928 Summer Olympics at home ground.

Furthermore, The Netherlands did not take part in the first World Cup due to the huge travel cost to reach South America from Europe. Many middle European countries including it boycott the first World Cup due to the economic crisis and the great depression of 1930.

Post-1930- First Golden Generation

The Dutch team debuted in the second World Cup but was eliminated after the first round. The Netherlands’ first golden generation started in football in the 1970s. It finished as the runner-up of World Cup football in 1974 and 1978 back to back.

Holland national team at the 1978 World Cup
Netherlands national team at the 1978 FIFA World Cup. Source: Pinterest

Furthermore, the Dutch team also reached the semifinals of the Euro Championship in 1976. But, in the semifinals, they lost a match to Czechoslovakia and won against Yugoslavia in the third place match.

1988 Euro Championship

After that, it was out of the group exit at the 1980 European Championship and did not qualify for the 1984 edition. Then, the Dutch team returned to the competition in 1988 and bagged the tournament title.

Netherlands at the Euro 1988.
Netherlands national team at the 1988 Euro Championship. Source: Heavenly Holland.

In group matches, it defeated England and Ireland and lost to the Soviet Union. Then, defeated West Germany in the semifinals and the Soviet Union in the finals and became Euro Champions.


Likewise, it became a semifinalist in the 1992 Euro Cup. The Netherlands has a score in the Euro Championships. It has regularly qualified for the tournament except the 2016 one since 1988. In the last Euro Cup (2016) the team could not surpass the first knock-out round.

The Netherlands reached the quarter-finals of the 2008 Beijing Olympics. It also finished second in the first season of the UEFA Nations League in 2019 after losing the finals to Portugal but did not qualify for the 2021 season.

Netherlands’ FIFA World Cup History


One of the best teams in World Cup football the Netherlands has always had the potential to be a winner but has not won the title to date. It participated in the second and third World Cups before the Second World War.

After the War, it took them 24 years to return to World Cup football. In the 1974 German World Cup, the team qualified and reached the finals for the first time. It defeated Brazil, East Germany, and Argentina in the group stage.

But, lost the final match against West Germany and missed the chance to become World Champions. Likewise, in the 1978 World Cup, the Netherlands reached the finals but lost a match in extra time against Argentina. And satisfied the second time as the first runner-up of the tournament.

After that World Cup, it missed two editions and returned to the 1990 World Cup. But, could not improve their performances and ended their journey in the second round. Then, it could not surpass the quarter-finals of the 1994 World Cup. And in the French World Cup (1998), the Dutch team finished fourth. It missed the 2002 World Cup and was out of the first knockout round in the 2006 World cup.


Finally, the team’s performances improved in the 2010 World Cup. It defeated Japan, Denmark, and Cameroon in group matches. Likewise, Slovakia in the pre-quarterfinals and Brazil in the quarter-finals.

national team at 2010 World cup
Netherlands national team at the FIFA World Cup 2010. Source: Pinterest

Likewise, in the semi-finals, it defeated Uruguay and reached the finals. Unfortunately, in the finals, the Dutch team lost to the Spanish team and missed the chance to become World Championship third time.

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It ended in third place in the 2014 Brazil World Cup after defeating Brazil in the third-place match. However, it did not qualify for the Russia World Cup. The Dutch team will return to the game in the Winter World Cup and their fans expect that they will lift the World Cup trophy this time.

Top 7 Greatest Dutch Footballers (GOAT) of all Time

The Netherlands has produced many greatest footballers for a long time in World football. It is one of the most popular sports in the Netherlands. There are more than 10 great footballers who played for the Dutch team, but we have listed the top seven greatest players of all time here.

Johan Cruyff

One of the most talented dribbling forward and attacking midfielders Johan Cruyff was one of the key players in the 1974 World Cup. He showed a special trick that later was named the Cruyff Turn which is still replicated by modern footballers.

Cruyff played 48 caps and scored 33 goals for the Dutch team from 1966-1977. He helped to win the national league for Ajax, Barcelona, and Feyenoord. He also managed the Spanish club Barcelona from 2009-2013. Cruyff died aged 68 on 24 March 2016.

Marco Van Basten

Marco Van Basten is one of the most popular strikers in the history of the game. He is the golden boot winner of the 1988 Euro Championship. Van Basten earned three Ballon d’Or in 1988, 1989, and 1992.

He played at Ajax and A.C. Milan football clubs. Basten played from 1983-1992 in the national team; his career did shorten due to injury. From 2015-16, he was an assistant manager of the Dutch national team.

Dennis Bergkamp

Dennis Bergkamp is a wide midfielder and is often known as the Non-Flying Dutchman by his fans. He spent twenty years playing for Ajax, Inter Milan, and Arsenal in club football matches. Bergkamp appeared 79 times for the Dutch team and scored 37 goals from 1990 to 2000. He helped to win two bronze medals in the UEFA European Championships.

Robin Van Persie

Robin Van Persie is the all-time highest scorer of the Netherlands. His 12-year international career illustrates evolution and longevity. He played 102 caps and scored 50 goals for the Dutch team. He is one of the greatest players of his era.

Van Persie spent time in English Clubs; Arsenal and Manchester United and Dutch club Feyenoord. Currently, he is an assistant manager of his former club Feyenoord.  He represented the Netherlands in three World Cups and two Euro Championships.

Arjen Robben and Van Persie at the field
The Netherlands two legendary players, Robin Van Persie and Arjen Robben. Source: Sports keeda

Arjen Robben

Arjen Robben is a former winger of the Dutch team. He is famous for his dribbling skills, speed, ball control, and long-range shots. Robben is one of the best wingers of his generation. He played professional soccer at World’s Top clubs, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, and Chelsea. He played 96 caps and scored 37 goals for the nation.

Wesley Sneijder

Wesley Sneijder is a Dutch retired footballer. He is one of the best midfielders in the world of his generation. He is the most capped player on the Dutch team and played 134 caps on the national team. Sneijder is a former player of Ajax, Spanish giant Real Madrid, Italian club Inter Milan and Turkish club Galatasaray.

He last played for the Qatari World Cup Al-Gharafa. Sneijder retired from the national team in 2018. During his tenure, he was a part of the Inter Milan team in the 2010 UEFA Champions League and FIFA Club World Cup. Sneijder won Silver Ball and Bronze Boot in the 2010 World Cup. In 2021, Sneijder was inducted into the Inter Milan Hall of Fame.

Memphis Depay

Memphis Depay is a young footballer from the Netherlands. He is also considered one of the best Dutch players in the World. Depay is a forward of the national team and Spanish club FC Barcelona. He previously played for Manchester United and Lyon.

Furthermore, Depay is the second-highest scorer in the Netherlands. He has scored 42 goals in 80 caps for the national team. Depay debuted from a senior team in 2013. In 2011, he helped the Netherlands to win the UEFA European Under-17 Championship.

Qatar World Cup 2022 Netherlands Squad

In the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers match, the Netherlands earned 23 points and topped the chart of Group G from the UEFA Confederation. It booked the ticket for Qatar World Cup directly whereas the second team Turkey advanced to the play-off. In Qatar World Cup, it will be in Group A along with host nations Qatar, Ecuador, and Senegal.

The Dutch team will meet African tiger Senegal in their first match on 21 November 2022 after the inaugural match between Qatar and Ecuador took place on 20 November 2022.

The Dutch team will be led by coach Louis Van Gaal and captain Virgil van Dijk in the Winter World Cup. The Netherlands team is full of star players and will do their best to win the title of the World Championship. Van Gaal became the team’s manager in 2021.

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On 22 September and 25 September 2022, it will play a 2022-23 UEFA Nations League group stage match against Poland and Belgium before moving to Qatar. The Dutch team will finalize their World Cup squad in October 2022.