Euro 2012 team guide and squad: Netherlands
THE ‘Clockwork Orange’ lost only one game in qualifying, to Sweden, who qualified as best runners up. 38 goals were scored over 10 games, with only eight conceded, including 11 goals without reply against San Marino.
Placed in the ‘Group of Death’ at Euro 2012 along with Denmark, Portugal and Germany, the Dutch will be looking to challenge Germany for top spot in the group but should prove too strong for the Danes and the Portuguese.
A near-watertight defence and free-scoring forwards - to say nothing of an efficient and versatile midfield - should see the Dutch advance to the latter stages of the tournament. At 13-2, the team lie behind Germany and Spain in projected favourites, but this might just be the tournament where the Netherlands manage to hold it together and repeat the success they enjoyed in Euro 1988.
KEY PLAYER: There are a great many players we could select here - the Netherlands are renowned for their efficiency and also their defensive capabilities and quality up front. Players like Robin van Persie and Rafael van der Vaart will have important roles to play, but we think diminutive deadball specialist Wesley Sneijder could provide the key for the Dutch. The Internazionale playmaker has amassed 84 caps for the national side, scoring 24 goals along the way. Able to boss the midfield or play on the left wing, Sneijder could be a fearsome opponent and vital if the Netherlands are to better their runner-up spot in the 2010 World Cup.
WORLD RANKING: 4
June 09, 2012 Denmark (Kharkiv, Ukr)
June 13, 2012 Germany (Kharkiv, Ukr)
June 17, 2012 Portugal (Kharkiv, Ukr)
COACH: Bert van Marwijk - Father-in-law of the Netherlands’ captain Mark van Bommel, van Marwijk was a versatile player himself and enjoyed a 20-year career, including 225 games and 11 goals for MVV Maastricht. Has only lost five matches as manager of the national side, including the 2010 World Cup final where the ‘Oranje’ were edged out by Spain in extra time. A 2-1 reversal to Bulgaria led to van Marwijk’s promise to fix the defence and the attack, a vow he executed in fine form, following up a 2-0 win against Slovakia with a 6-0 mauling of an inexperienced Northern Ireland squad in their Euro 2012 warm-up matches.
He said it...
‘I quickly got back a certain feeling...but that’s not surprising when you are training with some of the best players in the world.’
Tim Krul (Newcastle United FC)
Maarten Stekelenburg (AS Roma)
Michel Vorm (Swansea City AFC)
Khalid Boulahrouz (VfB Stuttgart)
Wilfred Bouma (PSV Eindhoven)
John Heitinga (Everton FC)
Joris Mathijsen (Málaga CF)
Ron Vlaar (Feyenoord)
Gregory van der Wiel (AFC Ajax)
Jetro Willems (PSV Eindhoven)
Ibrahim Afellay (FC Barcelona)
Mark van Bommel (AC Milan)
Nigel de Jong (Manchester City FC)
Stijn Schaars (Sporting Clube de Portugal)
Wesley Sneijder (FC Internazionale Milano)
Kevin Strootman (PSV Eindhoven)
Rafael van der Vaart (Tottenham Hotspur FC)
Klaas-Jan Huntelaar (FC Schalke 04)
Luuk de Jong (FC Twente)
Dirk Kuyt (Fenerbahçe SK)
Luciano Narsingh (sc Heerenveen)
Robin van Persie (Arsenal FC)
Arjen Robben (FC Bayern München)
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