FIFA World Cup™ finals history
The Netherlands have produced some of the tournament's most magical moments and their trademark total football has gone down in FIFA World Cup lore. However, despite lighting up the stage on several occasions, lady luck has not smiled on the Dutch at the business end of the competition. In addition to the agony of losing three Finals, in 1974, 1978 and 2010, they have twice succumbed on penalties in the semi-finals, at France 1998 and last time round at Brazil 2014.
The Netherlands can call on a wealth of experience at the highest level, with seasoned campaigners Arjen Robben, Robin van Persie and Wesley Sneijder still going strong and complemented by rising stars such as Daley Blind and Memphis Depay. Furthermore, coupled with the confidence and drive that are deeply ingrained in the Dutch psyche, the Oranje will be spurred on by a strong desire to make up for past disappointments. The failures to even qualify in 1982, 1986 and 2002 have not been forgotten and the three-time runners-up will be determined to leave nothing to chance ahead of Russia 2018.
Former international defender Danny Blind became head coach sooner than expected. He was supposed to replace Guus Hiddink after UEFA EURO 2016, but Hiddink's departure in June 2015 changed the plans. The former Ajax star has only been a head coach for one season in 2005/06, but has held several positions within the club, including technical director, assistant coach and youth coach.
8 - The number of times the Netherlands have advanced to the second round at the World Cup finals. The Oranje have never been knocked out in the group stage.
The former stars
Johan Cruyff, Marco van Basten, Dennis Bergkamp, Ruud Gullit, Edwin van der Sar, Frank Rijkaard, Johan Neeskens, Frank de Boer, Ruud van Nistelrooij.