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FIFA World Cup 2014: World Cup Team Profile - Netherlands

Saturday, 12 July 2014 - 11:25pm IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: AFP

Despite having a good World Cup campaign, Netherlands lost to Argentina in the semi-final round. The match headed towards penalties as the score remained the same till the end of 120 minutes. Ron Vlaar and Wesley Sneijder missed penalties for the Dutch, which resulted in their exit from the World Cup. But their 2014 World Cup campaign is not over yet as they play Brazil in a match for the third place in the FIFA World Cup 2014 at Estádio Nacional de Brasilia, Brasília.

Country Profile:

Population: 16,700,000 (UN 2012)

Area: 41,864 sq km

Capital: Amsterdam

Currency: Euro

Federation: Koninklijke nederlandsche Voetbalbond (KNVB - Royal football Federation of the Netherlands) founded in 1889, affiliated to FIFA in 1904 and to UEFA in 1954.

Registered players: 1,140,000

Colours: Orange shirts, white shorts, orange socks.

World Cup appearances: 10 (1934, 1938, 1974, 1978, 1990, 1994, 1998, 2006, 2010, 2014).

World Cup record: Finalists (1974, 1978, 2010), semi-finalists (1998), quarter-finals  (1994), second round (1990, 2006), first round (1934, 1938).

European championship appearances: 9 (1976, 1980, 1988, 1992, 1996, 2000, 2004, 2008, 2012).

European championship record: Winners (1988), 3rd (1976), semi-finalists (1992, 2000, 2004), quarter-finalists (1996, 2008), first round (1980, 2012).

How they qualified: Won Europe zone group D with 28pts ahead of Romania (19), Hungary (17), Turkey (16), Estonia (7) and Andorra (0), 9 wins, 1 draw, no defeats, 34 goals for and 5 against.

Top clubs:  Ajax, Feyenoord, PSV Eindhoven.

Key players: Robin van Persie, Arjen Robben, Wesley Sneijder.

Coach: Louis van Gaal.

Generations of gifted Dutch players have tried and failed despite producing exciting, attractive football. The Netherlands did however win the 1988 European Championships when a side featuring Marco van Basten, Ruud Gullit, Ronald Koeman and Frank Rijkaard conquered the continent in Germany. Even the legendary Johan Cruyff, a three-time European player of the year couldn't carry the Dutch over the World Cup winners line despite coming agonisingly close in 1974 when they crashed in the final to hosts West Germany. The Netherlands totally cruised through qualifying, banging home 24 goals and making the cut with two games to spare way ahead of Turkey, Romania and Hungary.

Coach Louis Van Gaal stripped Wesley Sneijder of the captaincy and handed it to Robin van Persie, and has said he prefers a youngster ready to bust a gut. Shaking up the system by creating competition between your biggest egos looks a risky strategy, but taking over after Bert van Marwijk's Euro 2012 meltdown meant Van Gaal had to make some kind of statement. In the centre of his defence Feyenoord pair de Vrij and Martins Indi are promising, but are untested against the very best. But they do have two top 'keepers in Tim Krul and Michel Vorm.

The Dutch may well go deep into the competition again, but they have drawn Spain and Chile, and they will need to hang on to their egos too.


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