Current Fifa Ranking : 9th with 1106 points
World Cup Appearances : 1934, 1938, 1974, 1978, 1990, 1994, 1998, 2006 and 2010
Best Achievement : Runners Up in 1974, 1978 and 2010
Head Coach : Louis Van Gaal
Captain : Robin Van Persie
The Flying Dutchmen are terribly hard to predict, as most have regularly found it difficult to foresee how the Netherlands will do. They were the first in their continent to qualify for the World Cup along with Italy and also possess a star studded attack, yet it is uncertain whether this force is at its peak or is slowly starting to wane. Having not lost a single match in 2013, head coach Van Gaal has certainly strengthened the mentality within the team.
Following their heated 2010 World Cup final against the Spaniards, the Dutch will feel that they may exact their revenge on La Furia Roja, whether it’s a massive hill to climb or not. Meanwhile, they will also have to deal with Alexis Sanchez and Arturo Vidal’s solid Chile side as well as the threat which Mile Jedinak and the rest of the Socceroos posse. Considering the strength in the Spain squad, this group could involve a fight for second place between the Netherlands and Chile, with the Oranje slight favourites in that clash.
In Van Persie they have one of Europe’s best strikers on their side, yet injuries have hampered the Dutchman’s form of late. Once back to full fitness, the captain is one of the deadliest attackers given the right assistance. The same applies to Schalke’s Klaas Jan Huntelaar though he’s not exactly in the same bracket. Said assistance comes from a midfield consisting of Bayern Munich’s Arjen Robben, Galatasaray’s Wesley Sneijder, Roma’s Kevin Strootman and Hamburg’s Van Der Vaart. Their defence meanwhile is still questionable, yet Everton’s Heitinga and PSG’s Van Der Wiel are some of the finest in their field. AC Milan’s Nigel De Jong is having a great season with his club and is always an asset to have in front of the defence.
The Netherlands’s qualifying campaign has been nothing short of sterling, head coach Van Gaal being one of the most experienced managers and tacticians in the field. Nobody can deny that it’s very hard to predict their outcome in the group stage. Should they be ardent enough to draw or even beat the mighty Spaniards, chances are they would also do well against the other teams, as they genuinely have the potential to either win the group or end up runners up.