Netherlands World Cup 2014: Player Guide for FIFA Tournament
By this time next week, we’ll know the names of every player heading to this summer’s FIFA World Cup in Brazil.
Managers have until June 2 to finalise their 23-man squads and the competition for places is fierce. While some nations have already confirmed their final teams, Louis van Gaal has yet to whittle his 30-man squad down to the required 23. The Nehterlands boss is set to break the news to his players on Saturday, per Footaball Oranje:
Louis van Gaal said today he knows 20 of his 23 man Netherlands squad, and will inform the players of his decision on Saturday.— Dutch Football (@football_oranje) May 26, 2014
Here is a look at the 30 names all vying for a seat on the plane to Brazil:
Which players do you think will make the final 23? Post your squad selections below.
Statistics from Soccerway, unless otherwise stated.
Manager: Louis Van Gaal
Oranje’s World Cup preparations have been somewhat overshadowed by Louis van Gaal’s appointment as the next permanent manager of Manchester United.
As per BBC Sport, the 62-year-old has been announced as the next Old Trafford boss and will be assisted by Ryan Giggs. This hot news has meant that much of Holland’s World Cup news has gone unnoticed, which could actually help the Dutch during the buildup to this tournament.
Just because van Gaal is heading toward Old Trafford, that does not mean his concentration or incentive to succeed in Brazil will dwindle. The Dutchman will be desperate to restore some national pride following the awful showing in Euro 2012, under predecessor Bert van Marwijk.
Should van Gaal defy the odds by leading the team to success, it would be the Netherlands first World Cup triumph in history. It seems unlikely, but it would be the perfect interlude before starting work at Old Trafford.
Name: Jasper Cillessen
Date of Birth: April 22, 1989
Brief Bio:. Having joined from NEC in 2011, Cillessen emerged as Ajax’s No. 1 this season and a string of fine displays helped Frank de Boer’s men to a fourth consecutive Eredivisie title. That form has been rewarded with a place in the national setup.
Tipped by Edwin van der Sar, as per FIFA.com, to be awarded the gloves against Spain on June 13.
Quick-Hit Fact: Has played just one competitive game for Oranje, keeping a clean sheet against Turkey in October 2013.
Quick-Hit Stat: Received an average WhoScored.com rating of 7.11 in 25 Eredivisie appearances this season.
Name: Tim Krul
Date of Birth: April 3, 1988
Birthplace: The Hague
Club: Newcastle United
Brief Bio:. Signed for Newcastle United as a teenager and has since gone on to make over 100 Premier League appearances for the Magpies.
Has previously represented Oranje at every youth level from U15 through to U21 and made his senior debut, against Brazil, in 2011.
Quick-Hit Fact: Started in Louis van Gaal’s first game in charge, a 2-0 win over Turkey in Amsterdam back in September 2012.
Quick-Hit Stat: Made 14 saves in a 1-0 win over Tottenham this season, an all-time Premier League high for a single match, via Darren Lewis of the Metro.
Name: Michel Vorm
Date of Birth: October 20, 1983
Club: Swansea City
Brief Bio:. The Swansea City goalkeeper has been in and around the Netherlands setup since 2008 but has been rewarded with just 15 caps in that time. However, he has proved to be a worthy understudy when called upon.
Was included in Holland’s UEFA Euro 2012 squad, although he did not feature.
Quick-Hit Fact: Kept a clean sheet in his last Oranje appearance, a 2-0 win over Andorra in September 2013.
Quick-Hit Stat: Made 62 saves in 26 Premier League appearances this term, via ESPN.
Name: Jeroen Zoet
Date of Birth: January 6, 1991
Club: PSV Eindhoven
Brief Bio:. The young custodian only broke into the PSV first team this season, following two successful campaigns on loan at RKC Waalwijk, but is already carving a name for himself as one of Dutch football’s most promising young talents.
He's currently uncapped for the national senior team, but has played a prominent role while rising through the youth ranks. Definitely one for the future.
Quick-Hit Fact: One of only two, alongside Tonny Vilhena, uncapped players included in the provisional squad.
Quick-Hit Stat: Made 86 saves during 29 Eredivisie appearances this season, via ESPN.
Stefan De Vrig
Name: Stefan de Vrij
Date of Birth: February 5, 1992
Birthplace: Ouderkerk aan den IJssel
Brief Bio: The 5'11" central defender has impressed once again this season and looks likely to start for Oranje on June 13 after being given the armband following Robin van Persie’s second-half withdrawal against Ecuador.
According to Gerrit van Leeuwen of Sky Sports, De Vrij is a highly sought-after talent and is already being chased by Serie A side Lazio amongst others. A big World Cup could see him earn his move abroad.
Quick-Hit Fact: Was named in the provisional squad for Euro 2012 but failed to make the final 23.
Quick-Hit Stat: Chipped in with four Eredivisie goals this season.
Name: Daryl Janmaat
Date of Birth: July 22, 1989
Brief Bio: Right-back Daryl Janmaat was easily one of Feyenoord’s best players in 2013/14 and a string of impressive displays have seen him garner interest from a number of European clubs including, per Simon Jones of the Daily Mail, van Gaal’s Manchester United.
Van Gaal may look to utilise Janmaat’s attacking abilities as part of the emerging 5-3-2 formation. The defender went off injured in the warm-up match against Ecuador earlier this month but should be fine for the World Cup.
Quick-Hit Fact: Janmaat has already amassed over 200 first-team appearances at club level.
Quick-Hit Stat: Claimed an impressive two goals and five assists, via Whoscored.com, from right-back this season.
Name: Terence Kongolo
Date of Birth: February 14, 1994
Birthplace: Fribourg, Switzerland
Brief Bio: After an impressive breakthrough season the 20-year-old was rewarded with his first senior start against Ecuador earlier this month.
The young star played a significant part in helping Feyenoord claim a return to Champions League football and seemingly has a bright future ahead. he could be one of the seven men to miss out on the final 23 but should have a bright future ahead nonetheless.
Quick-Hit Fact: A part of the U17 European Championship team of 2010/11.
Quick-Hit Stat: Made 2.4 interceptions per game this term, via WhoScored.com
Bruno Martins Indi
Name: Bruno Martins Indi
Date of Birth: February 8, 1992
Birthplace: Barreiro, Portugal
Caps: 14 (two goals)
Brief Bio: The towering 22-year-old has been a rock at the heart of Feyenoord’s defence once more this season and has now amassed over 100 Eredivisie appearances for the Rotterdam giants.
Having started eight of Oranje’s 10 qualifying matches, his inclusion in van Gaal’s 30-man squad was inevitable. With the 5-3-2 formation, his chances of starting on June 13 are equally strong.
Of all those players aged 23 or under, the Feyenoord man is one of the most experienced. He should feature prominently in Brazil.
Quick-Hit Fact: Moved from Portugal to Rotterdam at just three months old.
Quick-Hit Stat: Made an average of 47.5 passes per game for Feyenoord this season, per WhoScored.com.
Name: Karim Rekik
Date of Birth: December 2, 1994
Birthplace: The Hague
Club: PSV Endhioven (on loan from Manchester City)
Brief Bio: The teenager’s inclusion may shock some as he didn’t play a single minute during Oranje’s route to Brazil. However, the Manchester City player has been rewarded with the call-up after a fine season with PSV.
According to the Daily Mail’s John Drayton, Rekik has told City that he wants to leave unless he is promised regular playing time. With that outcome seeming unlikely, a World Cup could be the perfect opportunity to put himself in the shop window.
Quick-Hit Fact: Has made one Premier League appearance for Manchester City.
Quick-Hit Stat: Started in all 25 of his Eredivisie appearances this term.
Patrick Van Aanholt
Name: Patrick van Aanholt
Date of Birth: August 23, 1990
Club: Vitesse (on loan from Chelsea)
Brief Bio: The Chelsea youngster has spent each of the past five years out on loan, including two years with Eredivisie outfit Vitesse.
On a personal level, van Aanholt enjoyed a superb 2013/14 and was named in Goal.com’s Eredivisie Team of the Season. This is the start of what should be a long and successful career for the left-back.
Quick-Hit Fact: Since joining in 2009, van Aanholt has made just two Premier League appearances for Chelsea.
Quick-Hit Stat: Received a WhoScored.com average match rating of 7.1 in 29 Eredivisie matches this season.
Name: Joel Veltman
Date of Birth: January 15, 1992
Brief Bio: The 22-year-old was a major player as Ajax won a club-record fourth Eredivisie title this season and, according to Matt Law of the Telegraph, is already gaining major interest from both Arsenal and Tottenham.
Despite his tender age, Veltman has shown a high level of maturity to his football this year and could be a key member of van Gaal’s five-man defence.
Quick-Hit Fact: Joined the Amsterdam giants as a nine-year-old in 2001.
Quick-Hit Stat: Gained a WhoScored.com average rating of 7.67, the highest of any player in the Eredivisie.
Name: Paul Verhaegh
Date of Birth: September 1, 1983
Brief Bio: Having made a name for himself with Dutch side Vitesse, Verhaegh made the switch to Augsburg in the summer of 2010 and helped the Germans gain promotion to the Bundesliga in his first year. Since then, the defender has proven himself as one of the most reliable right-backs in Germany’s top fight.
Verhaegh was drafted into the 30-man squad in spite of never playing a competitive game for his country.
Quick-Hit Fact: Was a member of the squad that won the U21 European Championships in 2006.
Quick-Hit Stat: Claimed three goals and four assists in 29 Bundesliga appearances this year, via Goal.com.
Name: Ron Vlaar
Date of Birth: February 16, 1985
Caps: 22 (one goal)
Club: Aston Villa
Brief Bio: The big central defender, who joined Aston Villa from Feyenoord in 2012, has been in and out of the national team for nearly a decade. However, his experience could be vital as the Netherlands deploy the experimental 3-5-2 formation.
Quick-Hit Fact: Boasts more caps than any other defender in Van Gaal’s squad.
Quick-Hit Stat: Only four players won more offside decisions per game in the Premier League this season.
Name: Daley Blind
Date of Birth: March 9, 1990
Brief Bio: The son of legendary Dutchman Danny Blind, who is currently on the Oranje coaching staff, Daley started his career as a left-back. Even then he was considered as one of the brightest young talents in Dutch football, but since being switched to central midfield he has elevated himself from potential star to the real thing.
His versatility to play at full-back could prove vital as van Gaal may need to shuffle the pack if right-back Daryl Janmaat doesn’t recover in time for the tournament.
Quick-Hit Fact: Named Dutch Footballer of the Year in 2014, per Jamie Anderson of the Express.
Quick-Hit Stat: Received a Whoscored.com average 7.48 when playing in central midfield.
Name: Jordy Clasie
Date of Birth: June 27, 1991
Brief Bio: A young prospect that many Dutch fans are extremely excited about. The Feyenoord midfielder has really made a name for himself in recent months and has already been touted by some sources as the ‘new Xavi’.
According to Manchester Evening News, Clasie could be set to follow van Gaal to Old Trafford. If he can continue to provide ammunition like he did for Van Persie’s golazo against Ecuador, Manchester United may not be the only club to enquire about the Feyenoord star this summer.
Quick-Hit Fact: Was on the stand-by list ahead of Oranje’s failed Euro 2012 campaign.
Quick-Hit Stat: Has missed just Eredivisie games in four seasons.
Jonathan De Guzman
Name: Jonathan de Guzman
Date of Birth: September 13, 1987
Birthplace: Ontario, Canada
Club: Swansea City
Brief Bio: The Canadian-born midfielder moved to the Netherlands as a teenager, where he joined Feyenoord’s youth academy. After opting to represent Oranje at U21 level from 2008 onward, de Guzman earned his first senior cap in 2013.
The 26-year-old has spent the past two seasons on loan at Swansea City but is due to return to parent club Villarreal on his return from Brazil.
Quick-Hit Fact: Scored twice in Swansea’s pivotal 3-0 win over Norwich City in March.
Quick-Hit Stat: Made 34 Premier League appearances this season, starting on 26 occasions.
Nigel De Jong
Name: Nigel de Jong
Date of Birth: Novermber 30, 1984
Caps: 69 (one goal)
Club: A.C Milan
Brief Bio: De Jong is a no-nonsense defensive midfielder who has a reputation as one of world football’s feistiest players. The 29-year-old was pivotal in Oranje’s route to the final in South Africa, and his experience will be a huge help to an otherwise inexperienced defensive unit.
Quick-Hit Fact: Despite his reputation, the Netherlands midfielder has only been sent off once in his entire career—for Hamburg in a 2006 UEFA Cup match.
Quick-Hit Stat: Had a pass success rate of 91.1 percent for A.C Milan this season, via WhoScored.com.
Name: Leroy Fer
Date of Birth: January 4, 1990
Club: Norwich City
Brief Bio: Norwich City may have suffered relegation from the Premier League this season, but that hasn’t stopped midfielder Leroy Fer from alerting van Gaal to his quality. However, his most memorable moment of 2013/14 was the controversial "goal" against Cardiff.
Fer is likely to be one of the seven stand-by players and may have to turn his summer attentions to finding a new club.
Quick-Hit Fact: Scored three Premier League goals during his maiden year in England.
Quick-Hit Stat: Received a WhoScored.com average match rating of 7.00 when playing in central midfield.
Name: Wesley Sneijder
Date of Birth: June 9, 1984
Caps: 97 (26 goals)
Brief Bio: One of European football’s most prized playmakers and a key cog in the Netherlands machine. The No. 10 has a knack of popping up at the right time and his eye for a killer pass is a major force within the Dutch arsenal.
Sneijder was his county's best player at World Cup 2010 and was included in FIFA's team of the tournament.
Quick-Hit Fact: Has won at least one league title with every club he’s played for.
Quick-Hit Stat: Sneijder is Netherlands’ joint 10th-leading scorer of all time.
Rafael Van Der Vaart
Name: Rafael van der Vaart
Date of Birth: February 11, 1983
Caps: 109 (25 goals)
Brief Bio: Midfielder Rafael van der Vaart has been a major force at the heart of Oranje’s team for over a decade and sits third in the list of all-time appearances for the Netherlands.
The 31-year-old may have to settle for a more relaxed role in Brazil, but van Gaal knows he can rely on the Hamburg star should things need shaking up.
Quick-Hit Fact: Boasts more caps than any other player in the squad.
Quick-Hit Stat: Scored five goals in just five appearances during Holland’s route to the finals.
Name: Tonny Trindade de Vilhena
Date of Birth: January 3, 1995
Brief Bio: The 19-year-old made huge progress at De Kuip this season and has, per Ian Hughes of the Mirror, been linked to Manchester United even before van Gaal’s appointment.
The youngster has already enjoyed success in an Oranje shirt, lifting the U17 European Championship twice. Big things are being predicted for the teenager, and he should have a bright future ahead regardless of whether he makes the final 23-man squad.
Quick-Hit Fact: He's the only outfield player in the provisional squad still awaiting his senior debut.
Quick-Hit Stat: Scored six Eredivisie goals in 32 matches for Feyenoord this term.
Name: Georginio Wijnaldum
Date of Birth: November 11, 1990
Caps: Four (one goal)
Brief Bio: The 23-year-old started the Eredivisie on fire, netting four times in six matches before a lengthy injury threatened to put his World Cup place in real jeopardy. Nevertheless, the PSV man still made the provisional list in spite of being limited to just a dozen league starts.
Wijnaldum was strongly linked with a January move to Liverpool, as per Liam Penderville of the Mirror; although that switch never materialised, it speaks volumes about how highly regarded the young PSV striker is regarded.
He may struggle for game time in Brazil, that’s if he even makes the final 23, but he should have plenty more international football to look forward to in future years.
Quick-Hit Fact: Wijnaldum began his career as an out-and-out winger before adapting his game to form part of a midfield three.
Quick-Hit Stat: Scored 10 goals for the Netherlands U21 team between 2009 and 2013.
Name: Jean-Paul Boetius
Date of Birth: March 22, 1994
Brief Bio: The 20-year-old Feyenoord star has emerged as a real talent this season, hitting 10 goals in only his second season as a senior player.
His talents have alerted the likes of AC Milan, per Michael Bell of Football Oranje, and a summer transfer could be on the cards for one of Dutch football’s brightest young stars. For now, though, Boetius will be fully focused on trying to cement his place in van Gaal’s final 23.
In addition to his attacking abilities, Boetius doesn’t shy away from helping out his defence. That quality could be utilised wisely if Oranje stick with the 5-3-2 tactics.
Quick-Hit Fact: Has made a total of 49 league appearances for Feyenoord.
Quick-Hit Stat: Scored every 206 minutes this season, via Transfermarkt.com
Name: Memphis Depay
Date of Birth: February 13, 1994
Club: PSV Eindhoven
Brief Bio: Depay was one of PSV’s best players throughout 2013/14 in WhoScored.com’s Eredivisie Team of the Season with an average match rating of 7.7, scoring a dozen league goals in the process.
A string of glittering performances saw van Gaal reward the youngster with a senior debut by bringing him on in the closing stages of Holland’s final qualifying match against Turkey. Since then he has made a further four caps, and the PSV man could play a prominent role in years to come.
He'll most likely be used as an impact player from the bench.
Quick-Hit Fact: He's just one day older than fellow Oranje squad member Terence Kongolo.
Quick-Hit Stat: Per WhoScored.com, Depay took more shots (5.1) per game than any other player in Dutch football this season.
Name: Klaas-Jan Huntelaar
Date of Birth: August 12, 1983
Caps: 61 (34 goals)
Club: Schalke 04
Brief Bio: After making a name for himself at Ajax, Huntelaar endured a few difficult campaigns in both Spain and Italy. However, since joining Bundesliga side Schalke in 2010, the 30-year-old has played some of the best football in his life.
As per Reuters, Huntelaar finished 2011/12 as the Bundesliga’s leading scorer with 29 goals. He has been a part of the national team for eight years and already boasts one World Cup goal, a winner against Cameroon in 2010, to his name.
Unlikely to start for van Gaal’s side, but could make an impact from the bench.
Quick-Hit Fact: Only five players have scored more senior goals for the Netherlands than Huntelaar.
Quick-Hit Stat: Scored 12 goals in just 18 Bundesliga appearances this season.
Name: Dirk Kuyt
Date of Birth: July 22, 1980
Birthplace: Katwijk aan Zee
Caps: 98 (24 goals)
Brief Bio: The oldest member of van Gaal’s squad, Kuyt is a dependable striker who can also operate from the right wing. A second-to-none work ethic has earned him huge fan support over the years, and the Fenerbahce star is now just two caps short of completing a century of Netherlands appearances.
If selected, this will be Kuyt’s fifth tournament for Oranje.
Quick-Hit Fact: He is in the top 15 for both goals and appearances in the national team’s history.
Quick-Hit Stat: Scored 10 goals in 32 Super Lig appearances as Fenerbahce won the Turkish title.
Name: Jeremain Lens
Date of Birth: November 24, 1987
Caps: 20 (7 goals)
Club: Dynamo Kiev
Brief Bio: The pacey Dynamo Kiev forward has been in and around the international scene for a number of years and narrowly missed out on the 23-man squad in South Africa four years ago.
However, the 26-year-old really came into his own during the road to Brazil and scored five times for Oranje as they eased through the qualifying stages. Unfortunately, his place in the starting line-up is likely to be sacrificed as van Gaal deploys the new tactics.
Quick-Hit Fact: He was the Netherlands’ top assist maker in UEFA World Cup qualifying, providing teammates with five goals during the campaign.
Quick-Hit Stat: Scored on his international debut against Ukraine, where he now plies his trade.
Name: Quincy Promes
Date of Birth: January 4, 1992
Club: FC Twente
Brief Bio: This season saw the 22-year-old turn potential into performance as the right sided attacker netted 11 goals for club side FC Twente. Those individual displays were rewarded with a senior debut against France earlier this year.
He could be one of the seven players to be axed from the provisional squad, but he can take comfort in knowing he is at least on the national team’s radar.
Quick-Hit Fact: Played in no fewer than six different positions during 2013/14.
Quick-Hit Stat: Made 2.7 key passes per game, via Whoscored.com. Only Dusan Tadic completed more in this year’s Eredivisie.
Name: Arjen Robben
Date of Birth: January 23, 1984
Club: Bayern Munich
Caps: 73 (22 goals)
Brief Bio: One of the most feared attacking players in world football, Arjen Robben is tipped to be one of the Netherland’s most dangerous prospects in Brazil.
Robben is expected to join Robin van Persie in a two-man attack. The 30-year-old is a big-game performer and should thrive on the grandest stage of all.
Quick-Hit Fact: Has won domestic league titles in Holland, England, Spain and Germany as well as the Champions League and Club World Cup with Bayern.
Quick-Hit Stat: Named in the Bundesliga Team of the Season for 2013/14 after claiming 11 goals and six assists in 28 appearances.
Robin Van Persie
Name: Robin van Persie
Date of Birth: August 6, 1983
Caps: 83 (42 goals)
Club: Manchester United
Brief Bio: The Manchester United man will captain the side in Brazil and is widely considered as one of the hottest strikers in world football. Despite an injury-plagued season, van Persie still managed a dozen Premier League goals in just 18 starts and will be the focal point of the Dutch attack.
As per ESPN, van Gaal has already hinted that he will name the Dutchman as Manchester United's skipper next term. He will be equally pivotal to Holland's chances in Brazil.
Quick-Hit Fact: One of three Dutch players, alongside Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink and Ruud van Nistelrooy, to win the Premier League’s Golden Boot.
Quick-Hit Stat: Scored more goals (11) than any other player in UEFA qualifying.