Netherlands national football team

The Netherlands national football team[B] 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]

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.

Shirt badge/Association crest
Clockwork Orange[1]
The Flying Dutchmen[2]
AssociationKoninklijke Nederlandse Voetbalbond (KNVB)
ConfederationUEFA (Europe)
Head coachRonald Koeman[3]
CaptainVirgil van Dijk
Most capsWesley Sneijder (134)
Top scorerRobin van Persie (50)
Home stadiumJohan Cruyff Arena (54,990)
De Kuip (51,117)
Philips Stadion (35,000)
First colours
Second colours
FIFA ranking
Current 16 Decrease 2 (4 April 2019)[4]
Highest1[5] (August–September 2011)
Lowest36[6] (August 2017)
Elo ranking
Current 6 Increase 4 (27 March 2019)[7]
Highest1 (1978, 1988–1990, 1992, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2008, 2010, 2014)
Lowest49 (October 1954)
First international
 Belgium 1–4 Netherlands 
(Antwerp, Belgium; 30 April 1905)
Biggest win
 Netherlands 11–0 San Marino 
(Eindhoven, Netherlands; 2 September 2011)
Biggest defeat
England England Amateurs 12–2 Netherlands 
(Darlington, England; 21 December 1907)[A]
World Cup
Appearances10 (first in 1934)
Best resultRunners-up, 1974, 1978, and 2010
European Championship
Appearances9 (first in 1976)
Best resultChampions, 1988
UEFA Nations League Finals
Appearances1 (first in 2019) (in Dutch)


Beginnings: 1905–1969

Nederlands elftal 1905 colorized
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.

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

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

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

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

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

Total Football in the 1970s

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]

Bundesarchiv Bild 183-N0716-0311, Fußball-WM, BRD - Niederlande 2-1
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]

De Beker
The 1988 trophy on display in Amsterdam

Rinus Michels returned, with his technical assistant Joris van Beek, to coach the team for Euro 1988 in West Germany. After losing the first group match against the Soviet Union (1–0), the Netherlands qualified for the semi-final by defeating England 3–1 (with a hat-trick by the tournament's top scorer Marco van Basten), and the Republic of Ireland (1–0). For many Dutch football supporters, the most important match in the tournament was the semi-final against West Germany, the host country, considered as revenge for the 1974 World Cup final (also in West Germany). Van Basten scored in the 89th minute to sink the German side.[32] The Netherlands won the final with a victory over the USSR with a header by Ruud Gullit and a volley by Van Basten. This was the national team's first major tournament win.[33]

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

The team reached the semifinals in the Euro 1992 in Sweden, which was noted for the emergence of Dennis Bergkamp. They were eliminated by eventual champions Denmark, however, when Peter Schmeichel saved Van Basten's kick in the penalty shootout.[36] This was Van Basten's last major tournament. He suffered a serious ankle injury shortly after, and eventually retired at age 30 in 1995. It was also the last hurrah for Rinus Michels, who returned for one final spell in charge of the team before retiring for good after the tournament ended.

Dick Advocaat took over from Michels on the understanding that he would be replaced by Johan Cruyff the following year.[37] But after talks between Cruyff and the KNVB broke down, Advocaat remained in charge of the national team for the World Cup.[38] In the 1994 World Cup in the United States, in the absence of the injured Van Basten and the striking Gullit,[39] Dennis Bergkamp led the team with three goals and the Netherlands advanced to the quarter-finals, where they lost 3–2 to eventual champions Brazil.[40]

Golden generations: 1996–2014

Scotland-holland euro 96
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]

Training Netherlands in Freiburg
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]

Holland - France Euro 2008 entrance into stadium
Netherlands – France at Euro 2008
Netherlands - Denmark WC2010
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]

2014 FIFIA World Cup, Semi final, NED-ARG(2)
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

Netherlands fans - 2006 FIFA World Cup
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]


Amsterdam ArenA1
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]


Their 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. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club
1 GK Jasper Cillessen 22 April 1989 (age 29) 48 0 Spain Barcelona
13 GK Jeroen Zoet 6 January 1991 (age 28) 11 0 Netherlands PSV
23 GK Marco Bizot 10 March 1991 (age 28) 0 0 Netherlands AZ

2 DF Hans Hateboer 9 January 1994 (age 25) 4 0 Italy Atalanta
3 DF Matthijs de Ligt 12 August 1999 (age 19) 15 1 Netherlands Ajax
4 DF Virgil van Dijk (Captain) 8 July 1991 (age 27) 26 4 England Liverpool
5 DF Nathan Aké 18 February 1995 (age 24) 10 1 England Bournemouth
12 DF Patrick van Aanholt 29 August 1990 (age 28) 9 0 England Crystal Palace
17 DF Daley Blind 9 March 1990 (age 29) 62 2 Netherlands Ajax
22 DF Denzel Dumfries 18 April 1996 (age 23) 5 0 Netherlands PSV

6 MF Pablo Rosario 7 January 1997 (age 22) 1 0 Netherlands PSV
8 MF Georginio Wijnaldum 11 November 1990 (age 28) 55 11 England Liverpool
15 MF Marten de Roon 29 March 1991 (age 28) 10 0 Italy Atalanta
16 MF Kevin Strootman 13 February 1990 (age 29) 43 3 France Marseille
18 MF Tonny Vilhena 3 January 1995 (age 24) 15 0 Netherlands Feyenoord
20 MF Donny van de Beek 18 April 1997 (age 22) 5 0 Netherlands Ajax
21 MF Frenkie de Jong 12 May 1997 (age 21) 7 0 Netherlands Ajax

7 FW Steven Bergwijn 8 October 1997 (age 21) 5 0 Netherlands PSV
9 FW Ryan Babel 19 December 1986 (age 32) 56 8 England Fulham
10 FW Memphis Depay 13 February 1994 (age 25) 46 16 France Lyon
11 FW Quincy Promes 4 January 1992 (age 27) 36 6 Spain Sevilla
14 FW Steven Berghuis 19 December 1991 (age 27) 14 0 Netherlands Feyenoord
19 FW Luuk de Jong 27 August 1990 (age 28) 16 4 Netherlands PSV

Recent call-ups

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

Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club Latest call-up
GK Sergio Padt 6 June 1990 (age 28) 0 0 Netherlands Groningen v.  France, 9 September 2018

DF Kenny Tete 9 October 1995 (age 23) 13 0 France Lyon v.  Germany, 24 March 2019 INJ
DF Stefan de Vrij 5 February 1992 (age 27) 37 3 Italy Internazionale v.  Belarus, 21 March 2019 INJ
DF Daryl Janmaat 22 July 1989 (age 29) 34 0 England Watford v.  France, 9 September 2018
DF Terence Kongolo 14 February 1994 (age 25) 4 0 England Huddersfield Town v.  Peru, 6 September 2018 PRE
DF Timothy Fosu-Mensah 2 January 1998 (age 21) 3 0 England Fulham v.  Peru, 6 September 2018 PRE

MF Davy Pröpper 2 September 1991 (age 27) 14 3 England Brighton & Hove Albion v.  Germany, 24 March 2019 INJ
MF Ruud Vormer 11 May 1988 (age 30) 4 0 Belgium Club Brugge v.  France, 9 September 2018
MF Guus Til 22 December 1997 (age 21) 1 0 Netherlands AZ v.  Peru, 6 September 2018 PRE

FW Javairô Dilrosun 22 June 1998 (age 20) 1 0 Germany Hertha BSC v.  Germany, 19 November 2018
FW Arnaut Groeneveld 31 January 1997 (age 22) 2 1 Belgium Club Brugge v.  Belgium, 16 October 2018
FW Justin Kluivert 5 May 1999 (age 19) 2 0 Italy Roma v.  France, 9 September 2018
FW Eljero Elia 13 February 1987 (age 32) 30 2 Turkey İstanbul Başakşehir v.  Peru, 6 September 2018 PRE
FW Wout Weghorst 7 August 1992 (age 26) 3 0 Germany VfL Wolfsburg v.  Peru, 6 September 2018 PRE

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

Previous squads

FIFA World Cup
European Championship
Olympic football tournament

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.
# Name Netherlands career Matches Goals
1. Wesley Sneijder 2003–2018 134 31
2. Edwin van der Sar 1995–2008 130 0
3. Frank de Boer 1990–2004 112 13
4. Rafael van der Vaart 2001–2013 109 25
5. Giovanni van Bronckhorst 1996–2010 106 6
6. Dirk Kuyt 2004–2014 104 24
7. Robin van Persie 2005–0000 102 50
8. Phillip Cocu 1996–2006 101 10
9. Arjen Robben 2003–2017 96 37
10. John Heitinga 2004–2013 87 7

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

Top goalscorers

Loco-Fener (10)
Striker Robin van Persie is the top scorer in the history of Netherlands with 50 goals.
# Name Netherlands career Goals Matches
1. Robin van Persie 2005–0000 50 102
2. Klaas-Jan Huntelaar 2006–0000 42 76
3. Patrick Kluivert 1994–2004 40 79
4. Dennis Bergkamp 1990–2000 37 79
4. Arjen Robben 2003–2017 37 96
6. Faas Wilkes 1946–1961 35 38
6. Ruud van Nistelrooy 1998–2011 35 70
8. Abe Lenstra 1940–1959 33 47
8. Johan Cruyff 1966–1977 33 48
10. Wesley Sneijder 2003–2018 31 134

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

Competitive record

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

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

UEFA European Championship

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

Summer Olympic Games

Netherlands's Summer Olympic Games record
Host nation(s) / Year Result GP W D* L GS GA
United Kingdom 1908 Third Place 2 1 0 1 2 4
Sweden 1912 Third Place 4 3 0 1 17 8
Belgium 1920 Third Place 4 2 0 2 9 10
France 1924 Fourth Place 5 2 1 2 11 7
Netherlands 1928 Round 1 1 0 0 1 0 2
United Kingdom 1948 Round 1 2 1 0 1 6 5
Finland 1952 Preliminary Round 1 0 0 1 1 5
Total 7/10 23 9 1 9 46 41

UEFA Nations League

Netherlands's UEFA Nations League record
Year** Division Round Pos Pld W D* L GF GA
Portugal 2018–19 A Semifinals Top 4 4 2 1 1 8 4
Total 1/1 4 2 1 1 8 4
*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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External links

Danny Blind

Dirk Franciscus "Danny" Blind (Dutch pronunciation: [dɪrk frɑnˈsɪskəz ˈdɛni blɪnt]; born 1 August 1961) is a former Dutch international football player. He played as a defender for Sparta Rotterdam, Ajax and the Netherlands national team.

He is one of only two Dutch players, together with Arnold Mühren, to have won all UEFA club competitions and the Intercontinental Cup.

František Fadrhonc

František Fadrhonc (December 18, 1914 – October 9, 1981) was a football manager, who was born in Nymburk, Austria-Hungary, present day Czech Republic. He performed his coaching wonders, however, in the West, mostly in the Netherlands. After winning the Dutch championship with Willem II Tilburg in 1952 and 1955, he coached SC Enschede and Go Ahead Eagles.

In 1970, he took over the Netherlands national football team and was their coach as they qualified for the 1974 FIFA World Cup, besting, among others, their eternal rivals Belgium. However, it was Rinus Michels who took over in 1974 and who led them in the finals of that tournament.

Fadrhonc left the Netherlands for Greece to coach AEK Athens FC in the 1975 football season. He stayed until the beginning of 1978. During that period, he led AEK to the semi-finals of the UEFA Cup in 1976 and the Greek Championship title in 1978.

In the UEFA Cup campaign of 1976, he is credited with the substitution of regular goalkeeper Lakis Stergioudas with veteran Nikos Christidis in extra-time of the second leg of the encounter against QPR. His move was justified when Christidis stopped two penalties and AEK went through to the semi finals. He died aged 66 in Nicosia, Cyprus.

Fred Grim

Johann Georg Friedrich "Fred" Grim (born 17 August 1965) is a retired Dutch football goalkeeper and the current manager of RKC Waalwijk.. Grim represented Ajax and Cambuur Leeuwarden during his football career.

Georg Keßler

Georg Kessler (born 23 September 1932) is a former German football manager.

George Hardwick

George Francis Moutry Hardwick (2 February 1920 – 19 April 2004) was an English footballer, manager and coach. During his time as an active player, he was a left-sided defender for Middlesbrough. He was also a member of the England national football team, playing in 13 international matches and serving as the team's first post-World War II captain.

In 1947, the nations of Great Britain joined together to form a football team, which Hardwick captained and led to victory (6–1) against the rest of Europe.

Owing to a knee injury Hardwick had to terminate his international career after 12 matches. He is held in high esteem by Middlesbrough fans, and is regarded as the greatest defender in the club's history.

After his career as a player, Hardwick served as player manager for Oldham Athletic and manager for PSV Eindhoven, and, from 1959 to 1961, the Netherlands national football team. He later managed Sunderland A.F.C. and Gateshead.

Today his legacy lives on in the form of The George Hardwick Foundation, a charity dedicated to helping carers, former carers and patients. The Patron is his wife Jennifer, who cared for George during his latter years. They have three main sites at Stockton, Middlesbrough and The University Hospital of North Tees.

George Knobel

George Knobel (10 December 1922 – 5 May 2012) was a Dutch football manager.Knobel was born and died in Roosendaal. He was the coach of the Netherlands national football team for 15 matches (9 wins, 1 draw, 5 losses) from 1974 to 1976. During his period the Dutch finished third at the European Championship of 1976. He also coached Dutch clubs AFC Ajax and MVV, including a temporary spell from march to April 1982. He had a brief stint with Seiko SA in Hong Kong.

Jaap van der Leck

Jaap van der Leck (10 September 1911, Oudshoorn – November 18, 2000 in Tilburg) was an association football manager from the Netherlands.

He worked for DSO, RFC Rotterdam, UVV Utrecht, De Volewijckers, the Netherlands national football team, SC Enschede, Feyenoord, DOS Utrecht, Heracles Almelo, Willem II, DWS.

Jan Zwartkruis

Johannes Hermanus Hendrikus "Jan" Zwartkruis (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈjɑn ˈzʋɑrt.ˌkrœy̯s]) (18 February 1926 – 7 March 2013) was the manager of the Netherlands national football team for two periods (1976–77, 1978–81), coaching the team in 28 matches, including the 1980 UEFA European Football Championship. He also coached the Trinidad and Tobago national football team for a brief moment in the 1980s and the Netherlands Antilles during the 1994 FIFA World Cup qualification round for CONCACAF Caribbean Zone.

Max Merkel

Max Merkel (7 December 1918 – 28 November 2006) was a footballer who played international football for both Germany and Austria. He played as a defender for Rapid Wien, Wiener SC and Luftwaffen SV Markersdorf.

Netherlands national football team records and statistics

This page details Netherlands national football team records; the most capped players, the players with the most goals, Netherlands' match record by opponent and decade.

As of 20 November 2018

Netherlands national football team results

This article summarizes the outcomes of all official matches played by the Netherlands national football team by opponent and by decade, since they first played in official competitions in 1904.

Netherlands national football team results – 1990s

This is a list of football games played by the Netherlands national football team between 1990 and 1999.

Netherlands national under-17 football team

The Netherlands national under-17 football team represents the Netherlands in international football at this age level and is controlled by the Koninklijke Nederlandse Voetbalbond — KNVB, the governing body for football in the Netherlands. They are coached by Kees van Wonderen.

Netherlands national under-19 football team

The Netherlands national under-19 football team represents the Netherlands at this age level and is governed by the Koninklijke Nederlandse Voetbalbond — KNVB. The current coach is Maarten Stekelenburg.

Nol de Ruiter

Nol de Ruiter (born 6 April 1940) is a Dutch football coach and former player.

Rob Baan

Robert Baan (born 1 April 1943) is a Dutch football coach, appointed to the role of Technical Director for the Indian national team by the AIFF. He was the Technical Director of All India Football Federation.

Thijs Libregts

Thijs Libregts (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈtɛi̯s lɪbˈrɛxts], born 4 January 1941) is a Dutch football coach and former player, who played professionally as a defender in the 1950s. His daughter Patricia was one of Holland's leading water polo players in the 1980s and 1990s.

Total Football

Total Football (Dutch: totaalvoetbal) is a tactical theory in football in which any outfield player can take over the role of any other player in a team. It was made famous by the Netherlands national football team when reaching the final of the 1974 FIFA World Cup. Early exponents of Total Football were European sides Ajax and Real Madrid, although the system saw trial in other parts of the world, notably with the Austrian Wunderteam in the 1930s, the Argentine side "La Maquina" of River Plate in the 1940s, the Golden Team of Hungary, and English side Burnley in the 1950s, or Brazilian side Santos in the 1960s.

In Total Football, a player who moves out of his position is replaced by another from his team, thus retaining the team's intended organisational structure. In this fluid system, no outfield player is fixed in a predetermined role; anyone can successively play as an attacker, a midfielder and a defender. The only player who must stay in a specified position is the goalkeeper.

Total Football's tactical success depends largely on the adaptability of each footballer within the team, in particular the ability to quickly switch positions depending on the on-field situation. The theory requires players to be comfortable in multiple positions; hence, it requires very intelligent and technically diverse players.

During the 1970s, Ajax played some of their finest football ever, achieving a perfect home record (46–0–0) for two full seasons (1971–72 and 1972–73), just one defeat in the whole of the 1971–72 season, and celebrating four titles in 1972 (the Netherlands national league, KNVB Cup, European Cup and Intercontinental Cup).

UEFA Euro 1988 Final

The UEFA Euro 1988 Final was a football match played on 25 June 1988 to determine the winner of UEFA Euro 1988. The match was contested by the Soviet Union, playing in what would turn out to be the nation's last European Championship, and the Netherlands at the Olympiastadion in Munich. The Dutch won the match 2–0, with goals coming from captain Ruud Gullit, a header in the first half and tournament top scorer Marco van Basten. At 2-0, Hans van Breukelen saved a penalty from Igor Belanov, a penalty that he had given away for bringing down Sergey Gotsmanov.Van Basten's goal, in which he volleyed right-footed over Rinat Dasayev from the tightest of angles on the right of the penalty area from Arnold Muhren's looping ball from the left, would later be described as one of the greatest goals in the history of the European Championships.

31 May 2018 FriendlySlovakia 1–1 NetherlandsTrnava, Slovakia
20:45 CEST (UTC+2) Nemec Goal 8' Report Promes Goal 59' Stadium: Štadión Antona Malatinského
Attendance: 15,432
Referee: Bartosz Frankowski (Poland)
4 June 2018 FriendlyItaly 1–1 NetherlandsTurin, Italy
20:45 CEST (UTC+2) Zaza Goal 67' Report Aké Goal 88' Stadium: Allianz Stadium
Attendance: 20,500
Referee: Vladislav Bezborodov (Russia)
6 September 2018 FriendlyNetherlands 2–1 PeruAmsterdam, Netherlands
20:45 CEST (UTC+2) Depay Goal 60'83' Report Aquino Goal 13' Stadium: Johan Cruyff Arena
Referee: Tobias Stieler (Germany)
9 September 2018 2018–19 UEFA Nations League.France 2–1 NetherlandsSaint–Denis, France
20:45 CEST (UTC+2) Mbappé Goal 14'
Giroud Goal 75'
Report Babel Goal 67' Stadium: Stade de France
Referee: Alberto Undiano Mallenco (Spain)
13 October 2018 2018–19 UEFA Nations League.Netherlands 3–0 GermanyAmsterdam, Netherlands
20:45 CEST (UTC+2) Van Dijk Goal 30'
Depay Goal 87'
Wijnaldum Goal 90+3'
Report Stadium: Johan Cruyff Arena
Referee: Cüneyt Çakır (Turkey)
16 October 2018 FriendlyBelgium 1–1 NetherlandsBrussels, Belgium
20:45 CEST (UTC+2) Mertens Goal 5' Report Groeneveld Goal 27' Stadium: King Baudouin Stadium
16 November 2018 2018–19 UEFA Nations League.Netherlands 2–0 FranceRotterdam, Netherlands
20:45 CET (UTC+1) Wijnaldum Goal 44'
Depay Goal 90+6' (pen.)
Report Stadium: De Kuip
Referee: Anthony Taylor (England)
19 November 2018 2018–19 UEFA Nations League.Germany 2–2 NetherlandsGelsenkirchen, Germany
20:45 CET (UTC+1) Werner Goal 9'
Sané Goal 20'
Report Promes Goal 85'
Van Dijk Goal 90+1'
Stadium: Veltins-Arena
Referee: Ovidiu Hațegan (Romania)
21 March 2019 UEFA Euro 2020 QNetherlands 4–0 BelarusRotterdam, Netherlands
20:45 CET (UTC+1)
Report Stadium: De Kuip
Referee: Davide Massa (Italy)
24 March 2019 UEFA Euro 2020 QNetherlands 2–3 GermanyAmsterdam, Netherlands
20:45 CET (UTC+1)
Stadium: Johan Cruyff Arena
Referee: Jesús Gil Manzano (Spain)
6 June 2019 2019 UEFA Nations League SFNetherlands v EnglandGuimarães, Portugal
Stadium: Estádio D. Afonso Henriques
9 June 2019 2019 UEFA Nations League 3rd/FPortugal  or
v NetherlandsPortugal
Stadium: Estádio do Dragão or
Estádio D. Afonso Henriques
6 September 2019 UEFA Euro 2020 QGermany v NetherlandsGermany
20:45 CEST (UTC+2) Report
9 September 2019 UEFA Euro 2020 QEstonia v NetherlandsTallinn, Estonia
21:45 EEST (UTC+3) Report Stadium: A. Le Coq Arena
10 October 2019 UEFA Euro 2020 QNetherlands v Northern IrelandRotterdam, Netherlands
20:45 CEST (UTC+2) Report Stadium: De Kuip
13 October 2019 UEFA Euro 2020 QBelarus v NetherlandsBarysaw, Belarus
19:00 FET (UTC+3) Report Stadium: Borisov Arena
16 November 2019 UEFA Euro 2020 QNorthern Ireland v NetherlandsBelfast, Northern Ireland
19:45 GMT (UTC±0) Report Stadium: Windsor Park
19 November 2019 UEFA Euro 2020 QNetherlands v EstoniaAmsterdam, Netherlands
20:45 CET (UTC+1) Report Stadium: Johan Cruijff Arena
Netherlands national football team
World Cup Finals
UEFA Euro Finals
Other tournaments
Netherlands squads

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