The Dutch mill in Qatar.. to break the stubbornness of the World Cup

The Dutch mill in Qatar.. to break the stubbornness of the World Cup

“Total Football” is the equivalent of the Dutch national team, which is also known in the world of football as the “orange team” and the “Dutch Mill” team, but the real name for this team at the World Cup level is: the best team that has not won the World Cup.

Mondial without losing and without a title!
The Netherlands comes to Qatar with a young team that highlights its elements in the best European leagues, and its first motto: Breaking the stubbornness of the World Cup. Johan Cruyff and his successors failed to win the World Cup, despite reaching the final three times: 1974 against Germany at home, 1978 against Argentina at home, and against Spain 2010 on South African soil. In the 1998 World Cup in France, and after losing to Brazil on penalties in the semi-finals, and then against Croatia 1-2, she finished fourth.

As for the Dutch’s last appearance in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, they called without a loss, but without the title, but they achieved an excellent tournament by inflicting the harshest loss 1-5 in defending Spain, and by eliminating the Brazilians, the hosts, from third place with three clean points, after they were out in front of The Argentines in the semi-finals on penalties.

Ancestors and youth
And the Netherlands, which provided football with battalions of international stars, such as Johan Cruyff, Marco van Basten, Dennis Bergkamp, ​​Ruud Gullit, Frank Rijkaard, Ronald Koeman, Ruud van Nistelrooy, Schneider, Robin van Persie and others.. These heroes who turned most of them into eminent coaches, presented only one continental title ( European Championship 1988) without any world title even at the Olympic level.

However, the Netherlands prepared for the World Cup in Qatar, a young group full of leading clubs in Europe, and they did well on the way to the first World Cup in the Middle East and in the Arab world, and led them to the top of Group G with 23 points and 33 goals with 7 wins and two draws.

The Netherlands, ranked fourth in the world, considers the Qatar World Cup an opportunity under the leadership of veteran coach Louis van Gaal, especially since his predecessor, Dick Advocaat, failed to qualify for the last World Cup in Russia 2018, after the Netherlands tied with Sweden on points (19) but fell behind on a goal difference (+17 vs. +9). ).

This new generation of Dutch players are playing with increased enthusiasm for the Cup, and for the sake of their coach, Van Gaal, who insisted not to leave them in their global challenge despite having prostate cancer since 2020, especially as he led them to third place at the expense of Brazil in their last appearance on the World Cup 2014 arena. This seventy-year-old coach is a key factor in the group’s success with his experience with the most powerful clubs in Europe (Ajax, Barcelona, ​​Bayern Munich and Manchester United).

More than a golden boy after the golden generation
With the transformation of the Netherlands from total football (since 1974) to realism in 2010, which was the third World Cup in which it finished second, the elements that make up the 2022 team recall the individual skills of the stars of the golden generation, with the advantage of youth. The most prominent star, Barcelona striker Memphis Depay, was chosen as the best young player in 2015 on the European scene, and the best Dutch player who was eliminated from his country’s league after his compatriot Robben, and he has the ability to maneuver and shoot from far (he scored with Lyon against Toulouse from 46 meters in 2017).

This player, who is considered the first Dutch captain in the Qatar World Cup, was the most expensive shirt in the world after Messi and Ronaldo. He is the second player after Ruud van Nistelrooy to score in 6 consecutive matches in the Champions League. He also became the youngest Dutch player to score in the World Cup (20 years and 4 months). In the 2014 World Cup, he also became the second top scorer in the Netherlands after Percy (50 goals in 102 matches) and equally with Huntelaar (scoring 42 goals in 80 matches until 2022). Depay gained tremendous experience with PSV Eindhoven, Manchester United, Lyon and finally Barcelona, ​​and scored 109 goals for the first three clubs. In 280 matches, Depay was the top scorer in the qualifiers, scoring 11 goals with 6 assists, which contributed to 17 of the 33 goals.

In Van Gaal’s squad, we find others who held the “Golden Boy” award, most notably Matisse de Ligt, who became the first defender to win the award (2018) with Ajax, and also became the second youngest player (17 years and 295 days) after Seedorf to play in a European final (against Manchester United 2017). ) And in that year also he participated with the 17-year-old national team, becoming the youngest player to participate with the national team since 1931. This defender, who joined Bayern Munich and scored a goal in his first friendly match, won with Juventus the Italian League twice (2019 and 2020) and scored 19 goals in 181 matches from 2016 to 2022, while he scored two goals in 38 matches with the national team.

The mills face the unknown
The Dutch squad also includes “Ajax talent” Davy Claassen, the attacking midfielder in Everton, who played for three clubs (Ajax, Everton and Werder Bremen) 11 seasons and 268 games, during which he scored 78 goals, and with the national team 34 games and 9 goals since 2014.

Frenkie de Jong (25 years) from the talent of the season with Ajax in 2016 in the second division to his captain in the 2017 European Champions Final, to the decisive player in Barcelona since 2019 and the King’s Cup champion in 2021 by scoring a goal and contributing to the goals of the Frenchman Antoine Griezmann and the Argentine Lionel Messi against Athletic Bilbao 4-0. He played 203 matches with Film, Ajax and Barcelona, ​​scoring 22 goals. He played 44 matches with the Netherlands as of 2018.

The Qatar World Cup is the 11th participation of the Netherlands in the World Cup, and during its previous participation, it has only lost two of its 30 matches in the group stage, and it will play for the first time with host Qatar and Senegal, the African champion, while it played two friendly matches with Ecuador (win and draw), and the last participated three times. (The first round in 2002 and the final price in 2006 and was eliminated from the first round in 2014), while Senegal participated twice (Quarter-finals 2002 and was eliminated from the first round in 2018).

It seems that the Netherlands is ready for all possibilities with its impressive results in the European Nations League, as it topped its group without a loss (three wins and a draw) with 10 points and a big victory over Belgium by four goals to one.

So, history and logic say that the Netherlands’ path to the second round is easy, so will you continue to the final and break their stubbornness?

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