North Holland, South Holand.
The rest of Netherlands excluding North and South Holland
Netherlands All-Time Team After Johan Cruyff
Netherlands before Johan Cruyff (BC)
Dutch-Indos/Indonesia-born Dutch All-Time Team
Sweden World Cup1950
Argentina World Cup 1958
Scotland World Cup 1970
United Kingdom World Cup 1970
England World Cup 1974
United Kingdom World Cup 1982
Yugoslavia World Cup 1994
France World Cup 1994
Germany World Cup 2002
Netherlands World Cup 2002
USA World Cup 2010
Brazil 1982 with Careca, etc
In 1983, Spain beat Malta by 12-1 on the last match of Group 7 of the qualifying rounds of the 1984 European Championship. The result ended Netherlands' quest for a spot in Finals the following year. Spain won the group by the number of goals scored after both teams were tied in points and goal difference. They would eventually make it all their to the Final the following summer in France before losing to the host. Netherlands' elimination marked the second straight times where they failed to qualify for a major tournament. They would also not qualified for the 1986 World Cup Finals two years later. As you might have known, Netherlands emerged from this chaotic period to become the European Champion in 1988.
Why do I write a blog team in 1984? I tried to do a 1986 World Cup team for Netherlands, but I realized that the team would be similar to their Euro 1988 team. Their Euro 1984 team on the other hand would be much more interesting. Marco Van Basten, Ruud Gullit, Frank Rijkaard and Ronald Koeman had solidified their status with the national team. Marco Van Basten was the league top scorer that season. Meanwhile, Johan Cruyff was the Dutch Player of the Year in 1984. He had revitalised his career. So imagine if Netherlands fielded a lineup that consisted of Johan Cruyff, Willy van der Kerkhof, Marco Van Basten, Ruud Gullit, Frank Rijkaard and Ronald Koeman.
|Frank Rijkaard and Ruud Gullit|
Both Ruud Gullit and Ronald Koeman were 21 years old while Marco Van Basten was 19 years old in the summer of 1984. Netherlands would be led by Johan Cruyff who just had a fantastic season.
If Netherlands took Spain's place in the Finals, I predicted Netherlands might have done better than Spain in the Group stage. Spain finished first in the group stage, but they went through the group stage by beating West Germany with 90th minute goal on the last match of the Group stage. Netherlands with this mixture of young talents and Johan Cruyff would have probably done better. They might have beaten Portugal. West Germany who was fielding an out of form Karl-Heinz Rummenigge might be easier.
In the semifinal, they would meet Denmark, a team that would become the "Danish Dynamite" two years later. In 1984, the world did not know that. Denmark still had Allan Simonsen who was 31 years old at the time, but he was playing club football at home. Michael Laudrup just turned 20 during the tournament. In April, 1984, Netherlands beat Denmark 6-0 at a friendly match. Denmark fielded both Laudrup and Simonsen, but Morten Olsen and Soren Lerby were missing. Netherlands was missing Marco Van Basten. Of course, Johan Cruyff was never recalled back to the national team after 1977.
|Netherlands vs Denmark in 1984|
However, France was almost impossible to beat. The midfield of Luis Fernandez, Jean Tigana, Alain Giresse and Michael Platini was probably the greatest midfield in the history of European football. Collectively, they were known as the "Carré Magique"(Magic Square). Michel Platini also had one of the best ever individual performance at a major tournament. He scored 9 goals. Moreover, they were the host.
GK: Piet Schrijvers (Zwolle)
Between 1971 and 1984, Schrijvers played 46 times for Netherlands. He was the backup keeper at both World Cup Finals in 1974, but he was the starting keeper at Euro 1976 and 1980, and the World Cup Finals in 1978. At club level, he spent nine years with AFC Ajax, winning five Eredivisie titles and two KNVB Cups. He also played for DWS, FC Twente and Zwolle.
GK: Hans Van Breukelen (Nottingham Forest)
Hans Van Breukelen started his career with FC Utrecht and then, Nottingham Forest. He moved to PSV in 1984, where he became a star. For the national team, he was a fixture since 1980. However, he did not help the Oranje to reach a major tournament until in 1988, where they won the first ever trophy for the Dutch national team. He had 73 caps.
GK: Edward Metgod ( HFC Haarlem)
Edward Metgod made his debut in for HFC Haarlem against Roda JC losing 1-2. He spent 11 years at Haarlem before finishing his playing career with 7 seasons at Sparta Rotterdam. He was a member of the famous Haarlem team, that competed in the UEFA Cup in the 1982-1983 season, for the first time in the club's history. He earned one cap for Netherlands. Hie is Johnny Medgod's brother.
RB: Ben Wijnstekers (Feyenoord)
Ben Wijnstekers was considered among the greatest defenders in Feyenoord's history. He made his professional debut at Feyenoord Rotterdam in 1975, but also played for K.R.C. Mechelen and Germinal Ekeren. He was capped between 1979 and 1986. He went to European Championship in 1980, but otherwise, in a period between two Golden Generations of Dutch players, where Netherlands failed to qualify for the World Cup Finals.
|Ben Wijnstekers, Peter Houtman, Johan Cruyff and Ruud Gullit|
During his club career, Edo Ophof started his career in 1976 with. Then, Leo Beenhakker brought him to Ajax. He made his name with Ajax, where he played between 1980 and 1988. He later played for AZ and Utrecht. For the Dutch national team, he played 15 times between 1981 and 1985 under manager Kees Rijvers, scoring 2 goals.
CB/DM: Johnny Metgod (Real Madrid)
Johnny Metgod started his career with HFC Haarlem. After one season with Haarlem, he played for AZ Alkmaar. He appeared in the UEFA Cup Final. In 1982, Metgod moved to Spain to play for Real Madrid. He then moved to England in 1984 to sign for Nottingham Forest before signing for Tottenham Hotspur in 1987. He spent six years at Feyenoord. from 1978 to 1983, he eared 21 caps for Netherlands.
From 1974 to 1980, Michel van de Korput played for Feyenoord. Then, he played three seasons in Italy with Torino. He returned to Feyenoord and was a part of the Double winning team with Johan Cruyff. He later played with Koln, Germinal Ekeren and Cappellen. He also earned 23 caps for the Netherlands national football team from 1979 to 1985, and participated in UEFA Euro 1980
CB: Ronald Koeman (Ajax)
Ronald Koeman was the rock solid sweeper of Netherlands in 1988. He was capped 78 times. He was a part of the team that won Euro1988. He also won two European Cups, one each for PSV Eindhoven and Barcelona. He scored the winning goal for Barcelona's victory in 1992. The Cup was Barcelona's first ever European Cup. In Holland, he played for the big three, namely Ajax, PSV Eindhoven and Feyenoord.
Peter Boeve started his career at Vitesse and left them for Ajax in 1979. In 1980 Boeve scored Ajax's 2000th league goal since the introduction of the Eredivisie. After an injury in 1987, he moved o Belgian Beerschot VAC. Boeve was considered one of the best left backs of his generation. From 1982 to 1986, he played 16 caps for the Dutch national team.
LB: Adri Van Tiggelen (FC Groningen)
Adri Van Toggelen was the starting left back at Euro 1988, where Holland won its first major international trophy. He earned 56 caps. He also went to the World Cup Finals in 1990 and European Championship in 1992. He played mainly for Sparta Rotterdam early on in his career. He later moved to Anderlectd and PSV.
DM: Jan Wouters
CM: Frank Rijkaard (Ajax)
Frank Rijkaard was one of Netherlands' most important player. Capped 73 times. He won the 1988 European Championship in West Germany. He notably played for Ajax and AC Milan. He spent 5 seasons with AC Milan when Milan was considered the greatest club team in the world. He won two European Cup with them. In 1995, he led a young Ajax team to their famous Champions' League victory. That team is also considered one of the greatest club sides ever.
CM: Michel Valke (PSV)
Michel Valke made his debut with Sparta Rotterdam. From 1979 to 1982 he also played for PSV. In 1982, he left for Feyenoord in his final contract year on a loan, but returned to PSV. He also played for Olympique Lyonnais before returning to Sparta in 1989. Valke played 16 times for the Dutch national football team from 1979 to 1986.
CM: Erwin Koeman (Groningen )
Erwin Koeman is Ronald Koeman's brother. Koeman played with Groningen, Mechelen, where he won the Belgian League in 1989 and 1988 Cup Winners' Cup during the team's heyday and PSV, where they became league champions in 1990–91 and 1991–92. He won the Euro 88 and featured in the 1990 World Cup. In total, Koeman was capped 31 times, scoring twice between 1983 and 1994.
CM: Willy van de Kerkhof (PSV)
Overall, Willy Van de Kerkhof appeared 63 times for his country. He was a member of the 1974 World Cup team, but it was the 1978 World Cup Finals, where he carried the team to the Final against the host Argentina. His twin brother Rene was also a part of the 1978 team. He also played in Euro 1980. For his club career, he played for FC Twente (1970-1973) and PSV Eindhoven (1973-1988).
|Willy van de Kerkhof|
During the 1990's, Gerald Vanenburg formed a dangerous partnership Marco Van Basten and Wim Kieft at Ajax. He would join PSV in 1986. He later played in Japan, Germany and France. For the national team, he was a part of the Golden Generation that won the European Championship in 1988. He played for Netherlands 42 times.
RW: Bud Brocken (Groningen)
Brocken started his career with Willem II at aged 17. He played 6 seasons there. From 1981-1982, he played with Birmingham City. He then played for FC Groningen before returning to Willem II. He also played fo FC Den Bosch. He played 5 times for Netherlands in 1983.
LW: Simon Tahamata (Standard Liège)
With Ajax, Simon Tahamata won the national title three times. (1976–77, 1978–79, 1979–80). He was known for his partnership with Tscheu la Ling, another player with Asain heritage. He also played for Standard Liège. With this team he became national champion twice (1981–82 and 1982–83). In 1984, he returned to the Netherlands to play for Feyenoord. In 1987, he again joined the Belgian competition, playing for Beerschot and Germinal Ekeren. He was capped 22 times between 1979 and 1986.
He was the iconic captain of Netherlands 1988. In 1987, he moved from PSV Eindhoven to A.C. Milan for a world record transfer fee. He was an important player for AC Milan during the 1980's where they won two straight European Cups. He was the European Footballer of the Year in 1987 and the World Soccer Player of the Year in 1987 and 1989. He spent one season with Sampdoria winning the Italian Cup in 1994.
FW: Johan Cruyff (Feyenoord)
Johan Cruyff is the greatest Dutch player ever. He won the Ballon d'Or three times, in 1971, 1973 and 1974. He was considered one of the best players in history. He was noted for his brilliant performance at the World Cup in 1974. He also won three straight European Cups with Ajax in the 1970's. He moved to Barcelona in 1973 for a world record transfer fees, where he became a legend. He also played in the NASL.
Peter Houtman had 4 different spells with Feyenoord. He scored 90 goals in 153 official matches for them. Between those spells, he played with Club Brugge, Sporting Portugal, Sparta Rotterdam (two spells), ADO Den Haag and Excelsior Rotterdam. From 1983 to 1985, he had 8 caps, scoring 7 goals.
ST: Wim Kieff (Pisa)
Wim Kieff played for Ajax in the late 1970's and then, moved to Italy in 1983. He played for Pisa and then, Torino. In 1987, he joined PSV and immediately won the European Cup in 1988. For the national team, he was a part of the Golden Generation that won Euro 1988 and participated at the WC in 1990 and Euro 1992. He mainly used a substitute role at both Euro 1988 and the WC in 1990.
ST: Marco Van Basten (Ajax)
Van Basten was probably the second best Dutch player and among the best striker in football's history. He won the Ballon d'Or three times. He led Oranje to the victory at Euro 1988 scoring 5 goals at the tournament. His goal in the Final is considered one of the best in history of the tournament. He started his career with Ajax. He also won two European Cups with AC Milan, a club team that was considered the best ever.
|Marco Van Basten|
Rene van der Gijp, Edward Metgod, Jurrie Koolhof, Rene Hofman, Cees Van Kooten, Huub Stevens, Ruud Krol, Johnny Rep, Pierre Vermeulen, Hugo Hovenkamp, Johan Neeskens, René van de Kerkhof, André Hoekstra, Arnold Mühren, Michel Valke, Dick Schoenaker
-- Before starting this blog, I envisioned this team to be just a younger version of the Euro 1988 team, plus Johan Cruyff and Willy van der Kerkhof. Let's see if I am wrong. I am still undecided if I should do a 1982 World Cup team instead. The 1982 team could be more interesting. Ruud Gullit and Frank Rijkaard already made his national team debut in 1981. They would combine with Johan Cruyff, Johnny Rep, Johan Neeskens. That team also would consist a generation of Dutch star players who never played in a World Cup Finals. Jan Peters, Johnny Metgod, Arnold Muhren, Simon Tahamata and Tschen La Ling will be some of the names selected. However, Cruyff was not having a good year in the 1981-1982 season. Ruud Gullit and Rijkaard were not yet impact players, and I could not put Marco Van Basten and Johan Cruyff together on the same team. I do not think it would be a good team by the Dutch standard. The statements here on this paragraph are written before I started my research. I am keeping this here.
-- Ten players from this team were also on Netherlands' Euro 1988 team. They were Hans van Breukelen, Ronald Koeman, Adri van Tiggelen, Jan Wouters, Frank Rijkaard, Erwin Koeman, Gerald Vanenburg. Ruud Gullit, Marco Van Basten and Wim Kieft.
|1983: Frank Rijkaard, Ronald and Erwin Koeman and Ruud Gullit|
-- Johan Cruyff had retired from international football in 1977 before the 1978 World Cup Finals. I do not know enough about the politics behind Johan Cruyff 's decision to retire internationally and how politics and his relationship with various parties such as the KNVB would affect the situation in 1984. But since this is a fantasy team, this imaginary team should look beyond the situation in the real thing. Moreover, this would be Cruyff's final curtain. In real life, he retired after the 1983-1984 season. So he must play in the alternative Euro 1984.
-- Johan Cruyff joined Feyenoord in the summer of 1983 after Ajax refused to extend his contract. He had a wonderful season with Feyenoord. He won the Double as well as picking up the Dutch Footballer of the Year award that year. He could easily make this national team.
-- Ruud Krol was 35 years old in 1984. He played against Spain in Feb, 1983 in one of the qualifiers, but he was injured parts of the 1983-1984 season. He returned to action by March, 1984. Napoli parted ways with him that summer, making the way for Diego Maradona.
-- Ruud Gullit played with Johan Cruyff at Feyenoord that season. He was a right forward.
-- Johan Neeskens was only 32 at the time of the European Championship. He was playing for NY Cosmos. That year, NY Cosmos failed to reach the playoff since Pele joined the club in 1976. He was released by them on October, 1984. His career was not the same before and after Euro 1984.
-- Marco Van Basten was Eredivisie top scorer that year.
-- Johnny Rep was playing with PEC Zwolle in Netherlands, but he was a shadow of himself.
-- I am not familiar with the performance of most of the players in the 1983-1984. I mainly used appearance as reference to select the rest of the team.
-- Piet Schrijvers was the main goalkeeper used.Hans van Breukelen Joop Hiele was not used during the early 1980's. Edward Metgod earned his only cap in 1982. So I took Edward Metgod.
-- Ben Wijnstekers, Edo Ophof, Ronald Koeman and Peter Boeve were steady starting back four throughout the qualifiers. Adri van Tiggelen played in the latter stage of the qualifiers. He got nod over other players.
-- Ernie Brandts was seldom used between 1981 and 1984 under manager Kees Rijvers. According to transfermarkt.com, he played once under Rijvers. Instead, I took Michel van de Korput who played 11 times and John Metgod 8 times for Rijvers. Ronald Spelbos and Sonny Silooy were left off because both van de Korput and John Metgod were more experienced player.
-- As mentioned above, Ruud Krol just returned from an injury, but I do not think Netherlands needed him. He had not payed for the national team since 1982.
-- On the right wing, I took Gerald Vanenburg who played regularly for Netherlands during that period of time. Feyenoord used Ruud Gullit on the right. So I decided against selecting Rene van der Gijp.
-- Simon Tahamata did not play much under Kees Rijvers, but I wanted a left-side attacker. He was a star player in the 1980's playing in Belgium. While I used Kees Rijvers' selections as reference, I was not building a team that would be managed by Kees Rijvers.
-- The last two spots were between Arnold Mühren, Erwin Koeman, Michel Valke and Dick Schoenaker. I took Michel Valke and Erwin Koeman who appeared in the latter stage of the European qualifiers.
-- That season, Feyenoord won the Eredivisie/KNVB Cup Double. I have five players from Feyenoord(Johan Cruyff, Ruud Gullit, Michel van de Korput, Ben Wijnstekers, and Peter Houtman), but I have six from Ajax.