Tue. Nov 29th, 2022

It’s been eight long years since the Netherlands’ last World Cup match in 2014, beating Brazil 3-0, in which they won the honor of third place. Now they are back with the same coach, Louis van Gaal. It’s one of the most entertaining teams in Brazil, but the trail left behind by its later successors and then its predecessors largely explains why the time between the last World Cup matches has been so long and chaotic.

After missing Euro 2016 under Guus Hiddkink, a lot of scrutiny followed, along with their failure to qualify for the 2018 World Cup under Dick Advocaat. The Netherlands seemed to have regained their spark under Ronald Koeman and quickly reached Euro 2020, but his move to Barcelona put them in a difficult position. The Dutch failed to impress when they returned to a major tournament, and it came as little surprise when Frank de Boer left just two days after their lukewarm last 16 defeat against the Czech Republic.

And so Van Gaal was promoted to his third spell in charge of the national team and his first job since leaving Manchester United in 2016. Van Gaal, who underwent successful surgery for an aggressive form of prostate cancer earlier this year, is less bright than the last golden age of 2014, but is still full of stellar talent. Virgil van Dijk, Frenkie de Jong and Matthijs de Ligt will be at a World Cup for the first time, and under Van Gaal the Netherlands has rediscovered some of their joy.

Van Gaal brought stability to the Netherlands in his third term in office

(ANP/AFP via Getty Images)

Despite beating Turkey and Norway in the qualifying rounds, the Nations League results since then have been promising – including a massive 4-2 win over rivals Belgium. Indeed, after qualifying for the Nations League finals, there is a debate that the Dutch are the most out of shape European team to make it to the World Cup. As Van Gaal prepares to step down once again after the World Cup, can he leave the country with another memorable and unexpected run?

Here is everything you need to know:

Group fixtures(all times GMT)

Monday, November 21: Senegal – Netherlands – 16:00

Friday, November 25: Netherlands – Ecuador – 16:00

Tuesday, November 29: Netherlands – Qatar – 15:00

Netherlands squad confirmed

goalkeepers: Justin Bijlow (Feyenoord), Remko Pasveer (Ajax), Andries Noppert (heerenveen)

Defenders: Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool), Nathan Aké (Manchester City), Daley Blind (Ajax), Jurriën Timber (Ajax), Denzel Dumfries (Internazionale), Stefan de Vrij (Internazionale), Mathijs de Ligt (Bayern Munich), Tyrell Malacia ( Manchester United), Jeremie Frimpong (Bayer Leverkusen)

Midfielders: Frenkie de Jong (FC Barcelona), Steven Berghuis (Ajax), Davy Klaassen (Ajax), Teun Koopmeiners (Atalanta), Cody Gakpo (PSV), Marten de Roon (Atalanta), Kenneth Taylor (Ajax), Xavi Simons (PSV)

Striker: Memphis Depay (FC Barcelona), Steven Bergwijn (Ajax), Vincent Janssen (Royal Antwerp FC), Luuk de Jong (PSV), Noa Lang (Club Brugge), Wout Weghorst (Beşiktaş)

what to watch

Star – Virgil van Djik: An ACL injury brutally prevented the Liverpool defender from qualifying for a major tournament for the first time when he missed Euro 2020 and will enjoy the opportunity to play in Qatar. He remains one of the best defenders in the world, returning to his best performance last season, and although there are question marks in this campaign – the presence of the giant helps bring certainty and reassurance to the side missing in the Euro.

Van Dijk to lead Netherlands in first World Cup

(AFP via Getty Images)

Debuting talent – Cody Gakpo: Manchester United have sniffed around the PSV winger this summer and their interest has been mirrored by many other Premier League sides. Indigenous talent rarely stays in the Eredivisie for long, and the 23-year-old certainty looks like the next person off the block. The tall, tall striker, who tried to cut off his right foot from the inside and didn’t hesitate to shoot into the goal, is among Europe’s top goal scorers this season.

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Prediction

The Netherlands should be at the top of Group A and could stand out in the early stages of the World Cup with goals and even fun football that could make Van Gaal speak as black horses. The advantageous draw of the Dutch should extend to the round of 16 and if England do not destroy Group B they could face Wales or the USA. But there’s a reason the Netherlands isn’t in the top spot of World Cup contenders. and this could possibly be learned by Argentina in the quarterfinals. Lost in the quarterfinals.