The Blues welcome the “Oranje” this Friday (8:45 p.m.) at the Stade de France for their debut in the Euro 2024 qualifiers.
No World Cup
In the Netherlands, football is ‘total’. But in the World Cup, failure is also. In all their (fabulous) history, the “Oranje” have never raised the most beautiful trophy of the round ball. An anomaly in view of legendary players – like the late Johan Cruyff and Marco van Basten – who defended their colours. Three times they touched it with their fingertips. In 1974 and 1978, with the “Flying Dutchman” as spearhead (2-1 defeat against West Germany and 3-1 after extra time against Argentina). And in 2010, with the trio Wesley Sneijder-Arjen Robben-Robin van Persie in charge (0-1 defeat after extra time against Spain). During the last World Cup, in Qatar, Louis van Gaal’s men saw their journey come to an end at the Stade des quarter-finals after a match full of twists and turns against (again)…Argentina (2-2, 3-4 on penalties).
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A European championship on the charts
But if they did not win the World Cup, the Netherlands nevertheless lifted a major trophy: the 1988 European Championship. That year, carried by Ruud Gullit and Marco van Basten – authors of the two goals scored in the final – they had a very good run, notably beating West Germany (1-2) in the semi-finals, and finally overcoming the formidable team from the Soviet Union (2-0) in the final encounter. This is the only trophy won by the “Oranje” so far. Note that they were also First Nations League finalists in 2018-2019 (1-0 defeat against Portugal) and that they won three bronze medals at the Olympic Games (in 1908, 1912 and 1920).
SEE ALSO – The preparation of the Blues before facing the Netherlands this Friday (8:45 p.m.)
France does not really succeed for them
The “Oranje” are used to facing the Blues. Since their creation, the two national teams have faced each other twenty-eight times; first in friendly matches, then (also) in a more competitive setting. For the moment, France is leading in points with fourteen successes against eleven for the Netherlands (three draws). This Friday evening (8:45 p.m.), at the Stade de France, Ronald Koeman and his players will have the opportunity to rebalance this balance sheet. For the record, the biggest Dutch victory against the French team is 8-1; it was April 2, 1923 in a friendly match. Their biggest loss is 4-0; on May 26, 1947 in a friendly but also on August 31, 2017 in the World Cup qualifiers with Kylian Mbappé’s first goal in the tricolor jersey.
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A virus is currently decimating the team
It is the carnage among the Oranje. A few hours before facing the French team at the Stade de France (Friday, 8:45 p.m.), five players were affected by a virus and had to forfeit. They are Cody Gakpo (Liverpool), Matthijs de Ligt (Bayern Munich), Sven Botman (Newcastle United), Bart Verbruggen (Anderlecht) and Joey Veerman (PSV Eindhoven). The five playersleft the Dutch national team training camp this morning. They are suffering from a viral infection», added the KNVB in a statement. They were said to have suffered from cramps and vomiting after eating a chicken curry for dinner on Wednesday. “The cause of these stomach flu symptoms is uncertain. I ate chicken myself and so far have no symptoms.Said captain Virgil van Dijk on Thursday at a press conference. New cases are feared by Friday evening.
Read alsoEuro 2024 qualifiers: towards a macre of absentees for the Netherlands against the Blues?
Four players who have ped through Ligue 1
Ligue 1 fans should recognize several heads this Friday evening. Indeed, the selection composed by Ronald Koeman includes four players who have ped through the French championship. First of all, Memphis Depay, who enjoyed the heyday of Olympique Lyonnais between January 2017 and June 2021. But also Sven Botman (absent this Friday), 2020-2021 French champion with LOSC, Georginio Wijnaldum who has joined Paris SG in the summer of 2021 before being loaned to AS Roma during the last summer transfer window, and the young promising Xavi Simons – who also ped through the ranks of the Ile-de-France club – who is having fun at PSV Eindhoven this season. Will this return to France motivate them to stand out? Answer in the evening.