Always a bridesmaid, never a bride is a term often used to describe the person who nearly wins the race, but never quite gets across the finish line. When it comes to the World Cup competition, the Netherlands National Football Team knows a lot about being a bridesmaid.

In 1974, Holland Football Team came as close to the cup as you can get without winning. They fell to their host country’s team, Germany, in a 2-1 match and left with that “wait ‘til next time” attitude you’d expect of competitive players.

The match was marred by a rather strange penalty call on Holland squad member, Johan Neeskens. In the first minute of the final, he was sent to the penalty area by the referee, Jack Taylor, because up until that point, no German player had touched the ball, but it had been passed by Dutch players 15 times.

Only four years later, in 1978, they fell once more to their host country, this time Argentina. During that tournament, in a phase-two match against Italy, Ernie Brandts of Holland earned the distinction of being the only player to score a goal and to own a goal in the same match, and the team did win to advance to the finals. Still, while it took extra time for the Argentine team to beat them, in the end, a 3-1 score created a strange sense of déjà vu for the squad from the Netherlands.

Sadly, since those two near wins in the 1970s, the nearest Team Holland has come to playing in a World Cup Final was in 1998 when they lost a semi-final match to Brazil in a shoot-out.

The Dutch team is going to walk the FIFA World Cup 2010 surface with third ranking. Much is expected from them as they hold mastery in precision passing. Let’s have a look at what they have for us in this event:

• Nickname: Oranje. Clockwork Orange or Flying Dutchmen

• Football Association: Koninklijke Nederlandse Voetbalbond

• Head Coach: Bert Van Marwijk is going to lead Dutchmen this time in FIFA 2010.

• Captain: Giovanni van Bronckhorst is the present captain of the Netherlands’ football team

• Top scorer: Patrick Kluivert

• Home Kit color: Orange shirt with black shorts

• Away kit color: White shirt with blue shorts

• Playing in the World Cup since 1934

FIFA World Cup record

• Won FIFA World Cup: the Netherlands is in the run to win this title.

• Total match played in FIFA World Cup: The Dutches played 36 matches in all

• Total games won: The Dutch team won 16 matches in the FIFA World Cup event

• Games drawn: Dutches faced only 10 drawn matches in FIFA

• Games lost: Netherland lost 10 matches in FIFA event

• Goals scored: The Flying Men have been able to score 59 goals so far in FIFA.

Netherlands in FIFA WORLD CUP 2010

Netherlands is in Group E of FIFA World Cup 2010 where it will compete with Denmark, Cameroon, and Japan at the group stage. The Netherlands National Football Team is one of the eight seeded players that will form “Pot 1” in the draw for the Football World Cup South Africa in 2010.

The draw takes place on Friday, 4th December 2009 and this is where the groups will be decided for the upcoming tournament. Being seeded means that the Netherlands is in “Pot 1” for the draw but, more importantly, it means that they will not be matched against the other seeded teams (Brazil, Spain, Italy, Germany, Argentina, and England) and the hosts South Africa.

This makes the route to the knock-out phase of football a little easier. The first international game featuring the Netherlands was played on 30th April 1905 against Belgium. Since then they have participated in 9 World Cups (of which their best result is runner-up in the 1974 and the 1978 tournaments) and 8 European Championships (which they won in 1988).

The Flying Dutchmen are currently ranked 3rd in the world and, with a squad that features players like Wesley Sneijder (Internazionale), Robin van Persie (Arsenal) and Arjen Robben (Bayern Munich) is it small wonder that they are considered one of the leading contenders to lift the cup in South Africa.

Other players to watch out for include Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, who currently plays for AC Milan, and Dirk Kuyt who currently plies his trade at Liverpool Football Club in England. Although the Netherlands does not contain any superstars like Portugal, Brazil, and Italy, they have a very cohesive unit that works exceptionally well together. The Netherlands lost the final of the 2010 football world cup to Spain, and in 2014 the team was defeated by Argentina in the semi-finals.

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