The Netherlands’ World Cup journey

A handful of teams are in a separate league when i

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The Netherlands’ World Cup journey

A handful of teams are in a separate league when it comes to World Cup exploits. The Netherlands has always been a hotbed of talent and this has created marquee moments for some of the most iconic players of the last century. These players have provided us with some unforgettable moments out on the pitch. Whether it is Dennis Bergkamp's sensational goal vs Argentina at France 98 or Johann Cruyff creating his immortal "Cruyff turn" during the 1974 World Cup, the Dutch are renowned for their performances in the competition over the years and they will be aiming to impress during Qatar 2022.

The Netherlands reached the final in the 2010 World Cup, losing to Spain's golden generation. This was certainly nothing to be ashamed of, but they have failed to impress since and they will be looking to change that in this year's tournament. Their team includes some of Europe's top players, such as Barcelona's Frenkie de Jong or Liverpool's Virgil van Dijk.

The Netherlands’ World Cup journey through the years is celebrated, and they have been operating at a high standard in the competitions they have participated in. Suppose they can keep their key players fit throughout the tournament – in that case, they could push toward their goal, which will surely be to join the coveted list of countries that have lifted the Jules Rimet Trophy since 1930. They have come within an inch of the trophy by reaching the final on three occasions but have never quite managed to push themselves over the finish line. This is something that has been widely discussed among fans, sports writers and online bloggers.

The Dutch find themselves in a group with hosts Qatar, Senegal and Ecuador. They are favorites to emerge from this group as winners and go on to the knockout stages. It is still a dangerous group, though. Senegal are the current African champions and have some excellent players in their squad. No game is easy in the World Cup, given the quality of teams that qualify.

Van Dijk will be coming up against his old Liverpool teammate, Senegalese hero Sadio Mané. Holland will have a point to prove after failing to qualify for the last tournament in 2018. One year later, an Ajax side full of Dutch talent dismantled Real Madrid 4-1 at the Bernabéu. The omens were already good that they would be able to qualify for the competition in Qatar.

Louis van Gaal is a manager who takes no prisoners and will be an experienced man in the dugout for the less experienced players to look toward. Frenkie de Jong currently plays in Barcelona's midfield. He is the key lynchpin in Barcelona's quest to reassert some dominance at the Spanish and European levels. De Jong has drawn comparisons to legendary Dutchman Johan Cruyff due to his style of play.

The Netherlands finished top of their qualifying group en route to Qatar 2022. Despite a poor start, losing 4-2 against Turkey, they bounced back to winning ways quite spectacularly in the return fixture by beating Turkey 6-1. In addition, they beat Gibraltar 13-0 throughout both ties in the qualifying group. Latvia also felt the wrath of the new and improved Dutch setup by losing their games against them.

Memphis Depay was their lead marksman and notched up an impressive 12 goals during the group stages. After turning the tables against Turkey and pipping them to the pole position, the Dutch will be confident that they can right the wrongs that stopped them from qualifying for the competition back in 2018.


The group they are in seems favorable and they should be able to qualify. Qatar are playing at their first competition and are much lower down the world rankings than the Netherlands. Senegal is likely to provide the stiffest competition for them in the group. Still, there is plenty of talk of Ecuador surprising a few teams as well.

With players such as De Jong, Van Dijk and Depay, we expect to see the Dutch in the final 16 of the tournament. Once they come up against the more established nations, we will see how much this Holland squad has improved since they failed to qualify for the tournament just four years ago.

Van Gaal is likely to galvanize the squad and get the best out of them. If Van Dijk can rediscover his form from a couple of years ago that saw him as one of the best center-halves in the world, the Dutch could have an inspired run in this year's competition.