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15 Notable Netherlands Football Facts!

Here's everything you need to know about the Netherlands national football teams!

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Beano Team
Last Updated:  July 9th 2024

The Netherlands are just one of the 24 teams who've participated in the Euros 2024 in Germany. Here's everything you need to know about the one-time winners and which Arsenal and Manchester United star has scored the most goals for the national side!

1. Their first game was in 1905

The Netherlands won their first-ever official international match in an away game in Antwerp. The Dutch team beat Belgium 4-1!

2. Their badge features a lion

The Netherland badge features a lion, which is the national animal and has been displayed on their kit since a win over their neighbours Belgium in 1907. KNVB stands for Koninklijke Nederlandse Voetbalbond, which means Royal Dutch Football Association.

3. The team play their home games at several stadiums

The Netherlands play their home fixtures at four different stadiums: Johan Cruyff Arena (Ajax) De Kuip (Feyneoord) Philips Stadion (PSV Eindhoven) and De Grolsch Veste (Twente).

4. Their captain is Virgil van Dijk

The Liverpool defender began his international career in 2015 and was made the team captain for the 2022 World Cup. Their tournament run ended in the quarter-finals and had a penalty saved by Argentina goalie Emiliano Martinez.

5. They have a few nicknames

Netherlands supporters are spoiled for choice when it comes to nicknames for their national side. They're known as Oranje (guess), Holland and the Flying Dutchmen.

6. The Netherlands women's team are ranked 11th in the world

While the women's team have been active since the 1950s, they played their first official match against France in 1971, losing 4-0. They're nicknamed Leeuwinnen – the Lionesses – were Euros champions in 2017!

7. They had one of their greatest players in the world

Johan Cruyff is regarded as one of the greatest football players of all time. The Amsterdam-born striker was born in 1947 and represented his country 48 times between 1966 and 1977, scoring 33 goals. He was so good dribbling with the ball, a move called 'The Cruyff Turn' was named in his honour. Not only that, the Ajax ground is named Johan Cruyff Arena for the player who participated in 245 matches for the club, notching up 193 goals.

8. They last won the Euros in 1988

The 2024 Euros marked the Netherlands' 11th appearance in the tournament. Their greatest achievement was winning the European Championship in West Germany in 1988, beating the Soviet Union 2-0 at Munich's Olympiastadion before 62,770 spectators.

9. Robin van Persie is the team's highest scorer

Former Arsenal and Manchester United striker Robin Van Persie represented his country 102 times between 2005 and 2017. During that time, he scored 50 goals for the Netherlands. He's currently head coach for SC Heerenveen in Holland's top football league.

10. They're placed 7th in the FIFA World Rankings

The Netherlands are currently rated as one of the best teams in the world, according to FIFA. While they're currently 7th, they were placed at number 1 in August 2011. Their lowest position is 36th, which was in the summer of 2017.

11. Their biggest win was against San Marino

The Netherlands faced San Marino in a Euros 2012 qualifying match. The Dutch has 14 attempts on target and won the game very comfortably 11-0. Robin Van Persie scored 4 goals for the hosting team.

12. Their biggest defeat was against England Amateurs

In December 1907, the Netherlands faced England Amateurs in Darlington. The home side won 12-2 and it remains the Dutch side's biggest loss for over 110 years.

13. Their head coach is Ronald Koeman

The Dutch defender represented his country 78 times and scored 14 goals, and his club career saw stints at Groningen, Ajax, PSV, Barcelona and Feyenoord. After retiring from his playing career, he's managed Vitesse, Ajax, Benfica, PSV, Valencia, AZ Alkmaar, Feyenoord, Southampton, Everton and Barcelona. He managed the Netherlands between 2018-20 and returned to the national side in 2023.

14. They've been runners-up in the World Cup 3 times!

The Netherlands have been in sniffing distance of lifting the World Cup. They've been runners-up in Germany (1974), Argentina (1978) and South Africa (2010).

15. Wesley Sneijder is their most-capped player

Wesley Sneijder has made the most appearances for the Netherlands men's team. His international career began in 2003 and ended 15 years later. During that time, he earned 134 caps. He helped his country place second in the 2010 World Cup and third place in the World Cup in 2014.