World Cup: Netherlands, look for colors
Zapping World Eleven Guardiola compared Haaland to Cruyff and Ibrahimovic
How far it seems, the epic of 2014. The finalists four years ago in South Africa, the Netherlands arrived in Brazil with an uncertain status. Because in the meantime, Robin van Persie, Arjen Robben, Dirk Kuyt and company fell hard during the Euros. Three games, three defeats and a logical elimination in the first round. But the South American air gives the colors a very pale Oranje.
Embarrassed by Spain at the start, dismissed by Mexico and Chile or even the host country Auriverde lost, find it to their cost. Third in the edition, the Dutch of Louis van Gaal asserted themselves on the international scene. Before falling again from above. And in large widths. The new generation struggled to get on and off at Euro 2016 and then the 2018 World Cup. Two consecutive missed meetings is a blemish. Back to business for Euro 2020, the Netherlands are showing new limits.
Eliminated in the round of 16, well ahead of Amsterdam, the Batavians were disappointing. Still. So, what exactly can we expect from them for traveling to Qatar? Back at the wall, Memphis Depay and his band rely on their offensive strike force to hope to play spoilsports. Also more mature, the Oranje have a guide of 2014 in their company, one Louis van Gaal. Entering the run on November 21, against the reigning African champion, will serve as an indicator to measure the level, the state of mind and the capacities of his training.
The star: Memphis Depay
The orange jersey gives him wings. In selection since 2013, the center forward has asserted himself season after season as one of his bosses. The proof of this is in 2021, a year in which the ex-Lyonnais distinguished himself 14 times. A prestigious record, which has never been seen under the Dutch tunic. Equal performance with Cristiano Ronaldo (2019) and Romelu Lukaku (2018). That means
The Promise: Ryan Gravenberch
Ryan GravenberchImage Credit – Icon Sport
Dimension change for 20 year old Batave. Accustomed to Ajax, the promising midfielder is taking a real step forward in his career with his signing for Bayern Munich this summer. International since 2020, the neo-Bavarian has therefore been called upon to take on more responsibilities in the coming months. Whether at a club or a national team, where tenure is currently a rare commodity.
Coach: Louis Van Gaal
The 71-year-old technician knows the house very well. After a difficult first term in 2000-2001, the famous Dutch coach was recalled in 2012 to qualify the Batavians for the Brazilian World Cup. Mission accomplished. And more: the Oranje ends the South American epic in third place. For his third stint on the selection bench, the former Bayern and Barça coach will no doubt be dreaming of going one better this autumn in Qatar.
The legend: Johan Cruyff
Football owes him a lot, and not just Dutch. Whether at Ajax Amsterdam or the Netherlands, the attacking midfielder will reinvent the game. Follower of total voetbal, the legendary number 14 was also close to the top coronation in 1974, on the Munich side. His only World Cup experience. The Triple Ballon d’Or, Batave disappeared on March 24, 2016, leaving an indelible mark on the great history of football.
The expert’s eye: Dennis van Eersel (journalist RTV Rijnmond)
“As in 2014, Louis van Gaal is the coach who must achieve chemistry between the young players and some big names like Memphis Depay. The choice has evolved to 5-3-2 or 3-5-2. The biggest question mark remains the choice of goalkeeper between the “fragile” Justin Bijlow and the “veteran” Jasper Cillessen. Passing the group stage is of course the Netherlands’ first task or rather the obligation. The situation of The weather in Qatar is far from what our players are used to, so be careful. »
Returning to the World Cup after missing the 2018 edition, the Netherlands are expected to turn the corner. More so after the Euro failure, a year and a half ago. Louis Van Gaal’s men have outstanding talent on the pitch.
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