The Dutch National Football Team played their first international match on 30 April 1905 against our southern neighbor Belgium. At the end of the official playing time the score was 1-1, but in the extra time three more goals were made by Eddy de Neve, causing the Netherlands to win with 4-1.
The greatest accomplishment to date was winning the European Championship in 1988 which was held in West-Germany. The final was played against the Sovjet-Union. Only two goals were made, both by the Netherlands.
My aunt F. and uncle G. were here during that match. Uncle G. is an Australian and they both live in Australia. My father tells me that during the match the streets were silent, no cars passed, no people, nothing. The entire country was watching the match. When the end signal was given and we were the champion everyone streamed out into the streets, cheering, honking the horns of their cars. My uncle was amazed at the joy of the people, all decked out in orange. I’m sure it must’ve been an amazing, if slightly weird, sight.
When it comes to World Cups, we’re not so lucky. Twice we made the finals, in 1974 and again in 1978, but both times we lost. Once from West-Germany and once from Argentina.
The Color Orange
The Netherlands national football team play in a bright orange shirt. Orange is the historic national color of the Netherlands, originating from the coat of arms of the Dutch founding father William of Orange-Nassau. The top red band of the current flag was originally orange. The current Dutch away shirt is white, with two thin lines outlining a chevron containing the colors of the Dutch flag. Occasionally, orange socks are worn instead of light blue socks, such as in the qualifier against Scotland on March 28, 2009. (1) It’s not strange then, that one of the nicknames of the team is Oranje; the Dutch word for Orange.
World Cup 2010
In the group stage of this World Cup we won all three matches, against Denmark, Japan and Cameroon; in that order. We only got one goals against us, originating from a penalty. In the first match of the knock-out stage, we played Slovakia. We won, meaning we are now through to the quarter-finals. They’re being played this Friday against Brazil.
Brazil is a dangerous opponent and we can only hope and pray that we’ll win…
1. Wikipedia entry Dutch National Football Team
2. Dan Kamminga, Haarlem, The Netherlands. Taken from the Wikipedia Commons