Sunday, August 30, 2015

North Holland Greatest All-time team

Please also see my All-Time World Cup Team Index.

This is my all-time 23 member team for players born in North Holland.  North Holland is the name of a province in Netherlands.  It is where Amsterdam, the home of AFC Ajax, is located.  The club is known for its academy.  

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

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. His career with the national team was cut short because of a feud with Johan Cruyff. He did not go to the World Cup Finals in 1974 as a result.

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)
He was better known for his career with Ajax from 2002 and 2011. He was the backup keeper to Edwin Van de Sar during WC 2006 and Euro 2008.  He was the starting keeper as Oranje reached the WC Final in 2010.  He began his career at Ajax, winning nine honours including two Eredivisie titles. Stekelenburg went on to play for 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 Holland, representing the nation in three European Championships and the 1998 World Cup Finals.

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

CB: Ronald Koeman (Zaandam)
Koeman was the rock solid sweeper of Holland 1988.  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 Holland, he played for the big three, namely Ajax, PSV Eindhoven and Feyenoord.

CB: Cor Van der Hart (Amsterdam)
He became the third Dutch player in history to play board and one of the first professional player in Holland 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)".  He had 47 caps for Holland.  He was a part of the 1974 World Cup team  that finished second at the WC Finals in West Germany.  During his career he played for DWS (1962–66), Feyenoord Rotterdam (1966–74), Excelsior Rotterdam (1974–75) and PEC Zwolle (1975–82).  He won an European Cup with Feyenoord. 

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 Barcelona for 6 years. His twin brother Ronald also played with him for Oranje.

LB/SW:  Ruud Krol (Amsterdam)
Krol was one of the most important defender in Holland's history.  Capped 83 times. He helped Oranje to reach the WC Final in both 1974 and 1978.  He was a leftback at the World Cup in 1974 and switched to sweeper later in his career.  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 Holland.  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 went to France 1998.

CM: Gerrie Muhren (Volendam)
He 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.  

CM: Johan Neeskens (Heemstede)
Johan Neeskens was considered to be one of the greatest Dutch midfielders. He had 49 caps for Holland.  Her led Holland to two second place finishes at the World Cup Finals in 1974 and 1978.  He was Holland's 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)
Rep was a part of Holland's 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 WC Finals in 1974.  He picked up 42 caps.
Johnny Rep
LW: Piet Keizer (Amsterdam)
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 WC 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. 

AM: Ruud Gullit (Amsterdam)
He was the iconic captain of Holland 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)
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)
Bergkamp was the best-known Dutch player of the mid-1990's.  He helped Holland to reach the semi-final of the 1998 WC Finals in France.  His goal vs Argentina at was considered among the best ever scored in WC history.  Bergkamp surpassed Faas Wilkes's record to become the country's top goalscorer of all time in 1998. He started with Ajax and played for Inter Milan.  He also had a successful career with Arsenal.
Dennis Bergkamp
LW/FW: Rob Rensenbrink (Amsterdam)
Rensenbrink had an uneventful career in Holland 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 WC Final in 1974 and 1978.

SS/FW: Ruud Geels (Haarleem)
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.  He was a part of Holland's WC team in 1974.

ST: Kick Smit (Bloemendaal)
Smit was a member of Holland's World Cup team in 1934 and 1938. he scored 26 goals in 29 matches for Holland.  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)
Kiev 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)
The teenage star of the great Ajax team of 1995.  He was also a star with Barcelona.  He joined 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 1996 to 2004.  However, his career was shortened due to various issues.
Patrick Kluivert

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

Squad Explanation
-- 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.
-- MarcoVan Basten was born in Utrecht.

Starting lineup
Formation: 4-3-3
-- The team would try to play the 4-3-3 formation used by Holland 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.
-- Muhren would have started for Holland in 1974. 

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