Sunday, August 30, 2015

North Holland Greatest All-time team

Rep, Cruyff and Neeskens
Please also see my All-Time World Cup Team Index.

North HollandSouth Holand.
The rest of Netherlands excluding North and South Holland
Netherlands All-Time Team After Johan Cruyff
Netherlands 2002
Dutch-Indos/Indonesia-born Dutch All-Time Team

This is my all-time 23 member team for players born in North Holland.  North Holland is the name of a province in Netherlands in the northwestern part of the country. The capital and seat of the provincial government is Haarlem.  It is where Amsterdam, the home of AFC Ajax, is located.  The club is known for its academy.  AZ is located in Alkmaar, North Holland.  HFC Haarlem went bankrupt in 2010.

The province of North Holland as it is today has its origins in the period of French rule from 1795 to 1813. This was a time of bewildering changes to the Dutch system of provinces. In 1795, the old order was swept away and the Batavian Republic was established. In the Constitution enacted on 23 April 1798, the old borders were radically changed. The republic was reorganised into eight departments (département) with roughly equal populations. 

Please also see my All-time Dutch 23 member team: Netherlands.

 Frank Rijkaard ans Ruud Gullit

GK: Jan van Beveren (Amsterdam)
Jan van Beveren was considered one of the best keepers in the 1970's.  In 1970, Van Beveren joined PSV Eindhoven, where he won three Eredivisie titles, two domestic cups and the UEFA Cup in 1978. He had 32 caps from 1967 to 1977. His career with the national team was cut short because of a feud with Johan Cruyff. He missed the World Cup Finals in 1974 because of that. 

GK: Jan Jongbloed (Amsterdam)
Jan Jongbloewd played over 700 games in Eredivisie for DWS (later FC Amsterdam), Roda JC and Go Ahead Eagles. Prior to the World Cup Finals in 1974, he was relatively unknown.  He was drafted into the national team because of a feud between Johan Cruyff and Jan van Beveren.  He became the starting keeper for both 1974 and 1978 World Cup Finals. 

GK: Maaten Skekelenburg (Haarlem)
Maaten Skekelenburg was better known for his career with Ajax from 2002 and 2011. He was the backup keeper to Edwin Van de Sar during the World Cup Finals in 2006 and the Euro 2008 that followed.  He was the starting keeper as Oranje reached the World Cup Final in 2010.  At the club level, he began his career at Ajax, winning nine honours including two Eredivisie titles. Stekelenburg went on to play for AS Roma, Fulham, Monaco, Southampton and Everton.
Maaten Skekelenburg
RB: Michael Reiziger (Amstelveen)
Michael Reiziger was a member of the Golden Generation from Ajax that won Champions League with Ajax in 1995.  After a brief stint with AC Milan, he moved to Barcelona in 1997.  In 2004, Reiziger moved to Middlesbrough on a Bosman transfer. He was capped 70 times for Netherlands, representing the nation in three European Championships and the 1998 World Cup Finals.

RB: Bertus Caldenhove (Amsterdam)
Born in Amsterdam in 1913, Bertus Caldenhove was capped 25 times between 1935 and 1940.  He went to the 1938 World Cup Finals in France. He started playing football for SDZ then joined Door Wilskracht Sterk, where he was made captain when he was 18 years old.  He played his entire career there.

CB: Ronald Koeman (Zaandam)
Ronald Koeman was the rock solid sweeper of Netherlands' Euro 1988 winning team.  At the international level, he was capped 78 times. 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 Netherlands, he played for the big three, namely Ajax, PSV Eindhoven and Feyenoord.
Ronald Koeman
CB: Cor Van der Hart (Amsterdam)
Cor Van der Hart became the third Dutch player in history to play board and one of the first professional player in Netherlands when he joined Lille in 1950.  Before that, he played for Ajax.  Widely considered one of the best Dutch defender in history.  He had 44 caps, but the cap total largely was limited because the KNVB suspended all players that left the country to play professional football. 

CB:  Rinus Israel (Amsterdam)
Nicknamed "IJzeren Rinus (Iron Rinus)", Rinus Israel had 47 caps for Netherlands.  He was a part of the 1974 World Cup team that finished second at the World Cup Finals in West Germany.  During his career he played for AFC DWS (1962–66), Feyenoord Rotterdam (1966–74), Excelsior Rotterdam (1974–75) and PEC Zwolle (1975–82).  He won an European Cup with Feyenoord in 1970. 

CB/LB: Frank De Boer (Hoorm)
At one point, Frank De Boer was Oranje's most capped player. He was a part of Ajax's Champions' League winning team in 1995.  He was an important player in the late 1990's. He captained the Oranje to the semi-finals of both the 1998 FIFA World Cup and UEFA Euro 2000.  He also played with FC Barcelona for 6 years. His twin brother Ronald also played with him for Oranje.

LB/SW:  Ruud Krol (Amsterdam)
Ruud Krol was one of the most important defender in Holland's history.  He was capped 83 times. He helped Oranje to reach the World Cup Final in both 1974 and 1978.  He was a leftback at the World Cup in 1974 and switched to sweeper later in his career.  At the club lebel, he won three straight European Cups with Ajax in the 1970's. He also played in Italy with Napoli, in France with Cannes and the NASL with Vancouver Whitecaps.
Ruud Krol
DM: Wim Jonk (Volendam)
Wim Jonk played for Ajax, Inter Milan, PSV and Sheffield Wednesday during the 1990's.  He was capped 45 times for Netherlands.  He is best remembered for scoring a long-range shot against Saudi Arabia at the 1994 World Cup Finals in the United States.  He also played at 1998 World Cup Finals in France.

CM: Gerrie Muhren (Volendam)
Gerrie Muhren was a key player for Ajax when they won three straight European Cup between 1970 and 1972.  He became a cult hero with Real Madrid when he played against them. He also played club football in Spain and Hong Kong. He would have been a key player for Oranje at the 1974 World Cup too, but he skipped the Finals due to an illness in his family.  His brother Arnold won the Euro 1988.

CM: Johan Neeskens (Heemstede)
Johan Neeskens was considered to be one of the greatest Dutch midfielders. He had 49 caps for Netherlands.  Her led Netherlands to two second place finishes at the World Cup Finals in 1974 and 1978.  He was Netherlands' top scorer at the 1974 World Cup Finals.  He also won three straight European Cups with Ajax: 1971, 1972, 1973. He also played with Barcelona FC and New York Cosmos.

DM/CB: Frank Rijkaard (Amsterdam)
Frank Rijkaard was one of Holland's most important player.  Capped 73 times.  He won the Euro 1988 in West Germany. He notably played for Ajax and AC Milan. His Milan side 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.

RW/FW: Johnny Rep (Zaandam)
Johnny Rep was a part of Netherlands' Golden Generation in the 1970's.  Rep scored the winning goal for Ajax Amsterdam against Juventus in the 1973 European Cup final in Belgrade. He also helped SC Bastia reach the finals of the 1978 UEFA Cup.  Rep joined St-Etienne in 1979 and was part of the side that included Michel Platini.  He was a part of Holland's amazing team at the World Cup Finals in 1974.  He picked up 42 caps.
Johnny Rep
LW: Piet Keizer (Amsterdam)
Piet Keizer was widely considered to be as good as Johan Cruyff while the two of them played together at Ajax, but his career was overshadowed by Cruyff.  He was a part of the glorious Ajax team in the 1970's, but only managed one appearance at the World Cup Finals in 1974.  In 1973, he was voted by his teammates to become Ajax's captain ahead of Cruyff.  Cruyff would leave the team a few weeks later because of this incident. 

AM: Ruud Gullit (Amsterdam)
Ruud Gullit was the iconic captain of Ntherlands 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  (Amsterdam)
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.
Johan Cruyff

FW: Dennis Bergkamp  (Amsterdam)
Dennis Bergkamp was the best-known Dutch player of the mid-1990's.  He helped Netherlands to reach the semi-final of the 1998 World Cup Finals in France.  His goal vs Argentina at was considered among the best ever scored in World Cup history.  Bergkamp surpassed Faas Wilkes's record to become the country's top goalscorer of all time in 1998. At the club level, he started with Ajax and played for Inter Milan.  He also had a successful career with Arsenal whom he played between 1995 and 2006.
Dennis Bergkamp
LW/FW: Rob Rensenbrink (Amsterdam)
Rob Rensenbrink had an uneventful career in Netherlands before he moved to play in Belgium.  He first played for Club Brugge, but his greatest height was with Anderlecht.  He won two Cup Winners' Cup in 1976 and 1978.  For the national team, he was a key player as Oranje reached both World Cup Final in 1974 and 1978.

SS/FW: Ruud Geels (Haarleem)
Ruud Geels was a part of Feyenoord when they won the European Cup in 1970.  However, his best years were spent with Ajax from 1974 to 1978.  He was Eredivsie top scorer in 4 straight seasons with them. He won one more scoring title with Sparta Rotterdam.  At the international level, he played 20 matches and scored 11 goals for Holland.He was a part of Netherlands' World Cup team in 1974.

ST: Kick Smit (Bloemendaal)
Kick Smit was a member of Netherlandsd World Cup team in 1934 and 1938. He scored 26 goals in 29 matches for Netherlands.  He is the first Netherlands football player who scored a goal in a World Cup (27 May 1934 against Switzerland). During his club career, he played for HFC Haarlem.

ST: Wim Kieff (Amsterdam)
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: Patrick Kluivert (Amsterdam)
Patrick Kluivert was yhe teenage star of the great Ajax team of 1995.  He joined AC Milan in 1997, but he quickly left for Barcelona a season later.  He had a relatively successes at the club, but left for Newcastle United in 2004.  His career was never the same due to injuries.  He was an important part of the national team from 1994 to 2004, playing over 70 matches.  He went to three European Championship (1996, 2000 and 2004) and a single World Cup Finals in 1998.
Patrick Kluivert

Honorable Mention
Eddy Peter Graafland (Amsterdam)Roel Wiersma, Arthur NumanArnold Muhren (Volendam)Rafael van der Vaart (Heemskerk), Ronald De Boer (Hoorn), Erwin Koeman (Zaandam)

Squad Explanation
-- The greatest Dutch footballers came from North Holland. Johan Cruyff, Ruud Gullit, Frank Rijkaard, Johan Neesken and Dennis Bergkamp, Jan van Beveren, Rinus Israel and Ronald Koeman are on my All-Time team for Netherlands.
-- Only seven players selected did not play for Ajax.  Ruud Gullit was on of them. He started with Haarlem before joining PSV and Feyenoord. Bertus Caldenhove also did not play for them.  He went to the 1938 World Cup Finals with Netherlands.  Rob Rensenbrink was known for his career in Belgium. He was relatively unknown player heading toward the 1974 World Cup Finals.  He emerged as one of the star players. 
-- Ajax of 1994-1995 season is considered one of Europe's greatest club side.  However, Frank Do Boer, Michael Reiziger, Patrick Kluivert and Frank Rijkaard are selected here. Of course, Rijkaard belonged to the older generation.  
-- AZ is located in Alkmaar.  In recent years, they are one of the more successful clubs in Netherlands.  However, none of their players made them.
-- HFC Haarlem went bankrupt in 2010.  Ruud Gullit began his career with them in 1979.  He made his debut for the club at just 16 years old, becoming at the time the youngest player in the history of the Eredivisie.  He helped the club to finish 4th in the 1981-1982 Eredivisie and qualified for Europe.
-- I normally brought 8 defenders to most of my all-time 23 member team, but I only selected 7 for this team.  Frank De Boer and Ruud Krol could play as centre back and left back so I do not need a backup left back.  Instead, I brought an extra attacker.
-- Arnold Muhren is more famous player than his brother Gerrie because he played with Manchester United and started for Holland at the 1988 European Championship.  Gerrie Muhren was actually more highly rated.  He played with Ajax in the 1970's.  He missed the 1974 World Cup Finals because of a family issue.  Perhaps, he would be more famous if he had gone. I took Gerrie Muhren and kept Arnold as honorable mention.
-- Ronald De Boer and Edwin Koeman are brothers of Frank De Boer and Ronald Koeman. Ronald De Boer played along side his twin brother Frank throughout his career.  Edwin Koeman also played in Euro 1988 and 1990 World Cup Finals.
-- MarcoVan Basten played for Ajax Amsterdam, but he was born in Utrecht.
-- The striker position is weak.  Apart from patrick Kluivert, the other strikers chosen are relatively forgotten in history.  Wim Kieft played for Netherlands at Euro 1988.

Starting lineup
Formation: 4-3-3
-- The team would try to play the 4-3-3 formation used by Netherlands in 1974.  
-- Bergkemp did not play on the left, but the formation required him to move around.  So I am confident that he could handle the job.

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