From Johan Cruyff to Dennis Bergkamp and Virgil van Dijk, the Netherlands has always been a fascinating team and it won’t be different in Qatar. Our sportsbook offers the best markets and bonuses for the World Cup.
Total Football in 1974
The Dutch hold the record for playing in the most World Cup finals without ever winning the biggest tournament in the world. They lost to West Germany in 1974 before being defeated by host nation Argentina four years later. They also reached the final in 2010, losing in extra time to Spain.
In the 1970s, their Total Football playing style was an invention credited to managerial legend Rinus Michels. It was an attacking philosophy based on possession and the exploitation of space. It has influenced coaches around the world, from Louis van Gaal to Pep Guardiola.
Whenever the opposition was in possession, a significant number of players would swarm around the player with the ball, making Jurgen Klopp‘s Gegenpressing style look rather timid. This team has been recognized as one of the best teams in history since they invented that style, but the Netherlands national team sealed their fate as eternal No. 2.
World Cup Runner-Up Three Times
The Netherlands have taken part in the World Cup on 10 occasions and the last time they made it to the finals was back in 2010 in South Africa. The class of 2010 equaled the best-ever showing at a World Cup.
The Netherlands lost their third World Cup final in the cruelest of ways, conceding a goal with four minutes to go until a penalty shootout. The greatest prize in football continues to elude them but, you never know, this might be the year. If you’re betting online, make sure you back them not only in the group stages but also later in the tournament.
In their first game, they defeated Denmark 2-0. Their second game was uninspiring too, as they defeated Japan 1-0 thanks to an effort from Wesley Sneijder. The next game was yet another unconvincing win, a 2-1 victory against Cameroon.
With Arjen Robben, their game looked way better and they stepped up their game in the knockout stages. They knew they had their strongest asset back, and their chances of success had been given a huge boost. Robben proved to be crucial, scoring an excellent goal reminiscent of his many others, earning a man of the match award against Slovakia.
After beating Brazil, the Netherlands became real contenders to lift the trophy. For the first time, there was some excitement around the side that had shown mental strength and spirit to knock out the favorites, but as we all know, they lost to Spain in the finals.
They lost to West Germany in the 1974 finals despite playing the best football in the competition, the so-called Total Football. However, they tried again in 1978, albeit without head coach Michels and star player Cruyff. They lost again in the finals, this time to Argentina, making it two straight defeats. Their performance against Brazil in the 1978 World Cup is regarded as the peak of the generation.
After failing to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, the Netherlands managed to earn their Qatar tickets. They were also handed the dream draw in Qatar’s group, so the expectation will be a last 16 match with the runner-up from Group B.
They are priced at -250 to win Group A according to the latest soccer odds and the pathway is there for another memorable run. Their spine is amazing with van Dijk, Matthijs de Ligt and Stefan de Vrij in the defensive line, Frenkie de Jong as the brain from the midfield and Memphis Depay in the attack.