Country Report – Netherlands

    A look at the country’s demographics, football history and its squad status prior to the Qatar World Cup 2022.

    Number of inhabitants: approx. 17 million.

    Continent: Europe

    Confederation: UEFA

    National Football Association: KNVB

    Number of members: approx. 1.2 million (7% of total population)

    International trophies won: 1x European Championship

    Best World Cup result: 2nd place in 1974, 1978 and 2010.

    Key Players

    In the past: Cruyff, Van Basten, Gullit, Koeman, Bergkamp, Robben, van der Sar, Van Persie.

    Key current players: Van Dijk, Aké, Dumfries, Bergwijn, de Jong, Depay.

    Coach, formation and possible lineup

    Coach: Louis Van Gaal. (since 2021)

    Typical formation: 3-5-2 or 3-4-3

    Possible lineup:

    • GK: Mark Flekken (Freiburg)
    • LCB: Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool)
    • RCB: Jurrien Timber (Ajax)
    • CB: Nathan Aké (Man City)
    • LM: Daley Blind (Ajax)
    • RM: Denzel Dumfries (Inter)
    • CM: Frenkie de Jong (Barcelona)
    • CM: Steven Berghuis (Ajax)
    • ACM: Davy Klaassen (Ajax)
    • ST: Steven Bergwijn (Ajax)
    • ST: Memphis Depay (Barcelona)

    Age Report

    Players aged 25 or under in the current lineup: 3

    Players aged 32 or over in the current lineup: 1

    There is 1 player in this lineup that will (most likely) be playing their last World Cup this year: Daley Blind.

    There are 3 players in this lineup that can play (at least) two more: Timber, de Jong, Bergwijn.

    The remaining 7 players could play in one or two more World Cups.

    Youngest player: Jurrien Timber, born 17 June 2001 (21)

    Oldest player: Daley Blind, born 19 March 1990 (32)

    Average squad age: 27.5

    World Cup Qatar – Group A


    Monday 21 November Senegal vs Netherlands

    Friday 25 November Netherlands vs Ecuador

    Tuesday 29 November Netherlands vs Qatar

    Our view:

    After finishing second and third in the 2010 and 2014 World Cups, the Netherlands failed to qualify for the previous one in 2018. This time around, they seem to have put together a solid team once again. Proof of which can be seen in their two Nations League wins over Belgium this year. There has been some worry about the injuries of their two Barcelona stars Depay and de Jong, but it looks they will be alright come November. The only real weak spot in Louis van Gaal’s squad, is that their goalkeeper is not on par with the rest of the team. So far it remains to be seen who will take the spot between the posts. Freiburg’s Flekken could remain there after playing 4 of their last 8 games, though Jasper Cillessen and even 39 year old Ajax goalie Remco Pasveer have also been given opportunities. Or will Feyenoord’s Justin Bijlow – who was not selected for the last two Nations League games – take his place in goal again? The uncertainty surrounding this position is certainly not ideal for a team aiming to go a long way in Qatar. Regardless, the Netherlands will come out on top of their group. After that, anything can happen.

    Prediction: Last 8

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