- Best Euros
- Winner 1988, 3rd place 1976, 1992, 2000 & 2004
- 2016 Euros
- Did not qualify
Netherlands' Euro Schedule
|13th June 8pm||Netherlands v Ukraine||Amsterdam|
|17th June 8pm||Netherlands v Austria||Amsterdam|
|21st June 5pm||North Macedonia v Netherlands||Amsterdam|
Road to the Euros
The Netherlands recent history of qualifying for major tournaments has been rocky, so the nerves would have been jangling again when they lost their first home game of their campaign 3-2 to Germany. That result was no disgrace in isolation, of course, and they more than made amends when they won the reverse fixture 4-2 in Hamburg three months later. That victory lit the touchpaper for a successful run of results that saw them win five of their last six games, only dropping points in a goalless draw in Northern Ireland (the only game in which they scored fewer than two goals, by the way), by which time their progression to the finals was already in the bag.
Having finished runner-up to Germany in their Euro qualifiers, Netherlands again had to play second fiddle to Italy in their Nations League group, with their 1-0 home defeat to the Azzurri proving to be the deciding factor in an otherwise unbeaten campaign. Since then, their World Cup qualifiers again got off to a less than auspicious start, when they were given an emphatic 4-2 beating by an improving Turkey team. Their subsequent 2-0 win over Latvia was hardly convincing, while their 7-0 romp in Gibraltar was pretty much par for the course. They needed a late equaliser to rescue a draw from their pre-tournament friendly with Scotland, before lifting morale with a timely 3-0 win over Georgia in their final warm-up game.
First things first, the Netherlands are going to miss the defensive qualities and leadership presence of Virgil van Dijk at least as much as Liverpool did for most of last season, and possibly more so. On top of that, Ronald Koeman's decision to head to Barcelona after the Nations League games was less than ideal for a team who have something to prove after failing to reach the last two major tournaments. New coach Frank de Boer has been rebuilding his line-up around a backbone that consists of Mathias De Ligt at the back, Gini Wijnaldum in midfield, with Memphis Depay up top. De Ligt will most likely have the versatile Daley Blind alongside him at the back, while the blend of Wijnaldum's experience, the engine of Frenkie de Jong and the potential of midfielders like Manchester United's Donny van de Beek and youngster Ryan Gravenberch could combine to produce a creative spark in the final third.
Filling the boots of VVD will be no easy task, but if De Ligt can step up, then he might just be a stand-out performer if Netherlands go deep into the tournament. DePay will be the focus of most attention and he could be a match winner on any given day, but the player Frank de Boer will most need to produce the goods is Gini Wijnaldum, whose eight goals were vital in qualifying, and whose leadership and calm influence in the middle of the park could well determine how far his country progresses into the tournament.
Click below to read more about each of the Netherlands' Group C opponents: