FIFA U-17 World Cup record
The Netherlands, despite being a hatchery for wunderkinds, have only appeared at three FIFA U-17 World Cups. Tim Krul helped them finish third in their first attempt at Peru 2005, but despite boasting Stefan de Vrij, Joel Veltman and Bruno Martins Indi in 2009, and Nathan Ake, Jetro Willems and Memphis Depay two years later, they suffered back-to-back eliminations at the group stage.
The road to Brazil
The Netherlands will take on the world’s elite drenched in belief after conquering back-to-back UEFA U-17 Championships. During Republic of Ireland 2019 they beat reigning FIFA U-17 World Cup champions England 5-2, Belgium 3-0, Spain 1-0 and Italy 4-2 in the final.
Peter van der Veen took the reins in 2018, after Kees van Wonderen assumed more responsibility in Ronald Koeman’s senior set-up. Having coached a number of the players he took to Ireland 2019 at U-15 and U-16 level, he refreshingly stated his lofty targets: “My goal is to win the European title and then the U-17 World Cup.” One down, one to go.
Did you know?
The exceptionally gifted Naci Unuvar, who became the youngest player to score in the UEFA Youth League in 2018, became the first 15-year-old to net in a UEFA U-17 Championship final in May.
Brian Brobbey, who scored in the 2018 final, became just the third player in history to win two UEFA U-17 Championships. The previous two were also Dutch: Nathan Ake and Tonny Vilhen.