Dutch look to rediscover identity on World Cup return
The Dutch, who have long been considered fixtures of the FIFA World Cup, discovered themselves on the outside during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia.
However, Louis van Gaal, who led the Oranje to third place at the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, has assembled the team once more for the tournament in Qatar in 2022. Van Gaal's team will primarily consist of players who have never been in a World Cup, however there will be a few characters from that famous run who will return.
Clevpicks.com will introduce you the Dutch national football team...
The Dutch won their qualification group and only lost one of their ten games, holding off rivals like Turkey and Norway with to a solid backline centered on center-back Virgil Van Dijk and playmaker Frenkie De Jong.
Following a six-match unbeaten streak in the UEFA Nations League this year, which included victories against Belgium and Wales, Van Gaal's club will be one of the in-form sides traveling to Qatar in 2022. The Czech Republic eliminated the Netherlands from UEFA EURO 2020 in the round of 16 on June 27, 2021, marking the Dutch's most recent loss.
Netherlands’ Group A fixtures
Senegal vs Netherlands (19:00 local time, Al Thumama Stadium)
Netherlands vs Ecuador (19:00 local time, Khalifa International Stadium)
Netherlands vs Qatar (18:00 local time, Al Bayt Stadium)
Van Gaal’s approach and tactics
Van Gaal has thirty years of experience as a top-level coach. He is renowned for building defensively and tactically strong teams and has usually set up in an attack-focused 4-3-3 formation. He is direct and fairly unsentimental. But in recent games, he's chosen to play with three at the back, a 3-4-1-2 formation that he used to great success in 2014.
In August 2021, the Dutch FA asked him to succeed Frank de Boer and manage his nation for a third time after an early withdrawal from the EURO. Given the Oranje's winning streak since that disappointing EURO campaign, they see the seasoned tactician as a dependable presence with a track record of proven success.
The 71-year-old will be one of Qatar 2022's most seasoned coaches after announcing in the spring of this year that he is having treatment for prostate cancer.
Key player: Frenkie de Jong
The Dutch boast one of the game's most graceful midfielders in De Jong.
The 25-year-capacity old's for making decisions is one of his best traits. De Jong, who frequently receives the ball first from the defense, will then efficiently link play to the attack, either by moving the ball forward on his own or by making a pass from a variety of distances.
The generational talent from Ajax disperses defenses with his propensity for long-distance ball carrying and one-on-one defender defeats.
De Jong's performance in Qatar will go a long way toward guaranteeing Van Gaal's team makes another deep run in the tournament.
One to watch: Cody Gakpo
Height is one of the qualities Gakpo brings to the table, even though it is uncommon for wingers to be tall. Over the past few years, the 1.87-meter PSV Eindhoven winger has caught the attention of many of the biggest clubs in Europe with his direct and aggressive style of play, which he typically employs from the left wing.
The winner against Poland in the UEFA Nations League in September 2022 was the third goal the Netherlands' Football of the Year for the 2021–2022 season has scored for the senior national team since making his debut during UEFA EURO 2020. He will be traveling to Qatar as one of Europe's most productive forwards.
The Netherlands' World Cup history
The Netherlands have participated in 10 World Cups, the most recent being Brazil 2014, and have each time advanced past the group stage.
They are regarded as the World Cup's "almost men" for good cause. The Netherlands have the unfortunate distinction of competing in the majority of championship games but never winning the medal. In 1974, 1978, and 2010 against West Germany, Argentina, and Spain, the Dutch failed to cross the finish line.
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