Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Holland Greatest All-team 23 member team

World Cup 1974
This is my all-time team for Holland. If there were an All-Time World Cup, this would be the 23 players I would bring to the tournament. 

Please also see my All-Time World Cup Team Index
North HollandSouth Holand.
The rest of Holland excluding North and South Holland
Holland All-Time Team After Johan Cruyff
Holland 2002
Dutch-Indos/Indonesia-born Dutch All-Time Team

Holland first became prominence when they reached the Final of the 1974 Finals, where they lost to the host.  The team led by Johan Cruyff charmed the world with their "Total Football".   Four years later, they reached the Final again, but they again lost to the host.  Finally, Oranje won their first major international tournament in 1988 ar the European Championship.   Marco Van Basten, Ruud Gullit and Frank Rijkaard also contributed the successes of AC Milan in the late 1980's.  Then, in the mid-1990's, a new Golden Generation helped Ajax to win the Champions' league in 1995.  With the national team, they reached the semifinal of the WC in 1998. 

If there were an All-Time World Cup, this would be the 23 players I would bring to the tournament.  The team is not an All-Star team. I tried to be as realistic as possible.   A few of the players are selected for tactical reasons at the expense of more famous players.

Euro 1988
GK: Edwin Van Der Sar 
Van Der Sar is the most capped player in Holland's history with 130 caps.  He went to 1994, 1998 and 2006 World Cup and Euro 1996, 2000 and 2004.  He was best remembered for being the Ajax keeper in 1995 that won the Champions' League and then, later for Manchester United for 6 seasons.  He won the Champions' League in 2007-2008. In between, he also played with Fulham and Juventus.
GK:  Jan Van Beveren
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. His career with the national team was cut short because of a feud with Johan Cruyff. He missed the WC Finals in 1974 because of that.

GK:  Just Göbel
Born in Dutch- Göbel who played for Vitesse Arnhem, succeeded Reinier Beeuwkes as the Dutch national goalkeeper in 1911. He was known for being the first Dutch keeper trying to catch the ball rather than stomp it away. He played 18 matches for the Dutch team, being best remembered for his numerous saves during the 2-1 win over England's amateurs and his bronze medal in the football tournament of the 1912 Summer Olympics.

RB: Wim Suurbier 
Suurbier is considered among the best ever rightback in history.  He was the starting rightback for Oranje at the 1974 World Cup in Germany as well as the great Ajax team of the early 1970's where he played 13 seasons. He won three European Cups with Ajax in the 1970's. He also played club football in France, the USA and Hong Kong.

RB: Harry Dénis 
He participated in three consecutive Summer Olympics, starting in 1920.  He actually delivered the Olympic Oath during the opening ceremony of the 1928 Summer Olympics in Amsterdam.  Dénis started playing football with local side DVV and joined HBS aged 11. He would stay at the club for the rest of his career, winning the 1925 Netherlands Football League Championship with them.

CB:  Ronald Koeman 
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.
Ronald Koeman 
CB:  Jaap Stam 
Stam was at one point the most expensive Dutch player and the most expensive defender in the world when Manchester United bought him for 10.6 million pounds.  He played for several European clubs including PSV Eindhoven, Manchester United, Lazio, A.C. Milan and Ajax. In total, he had 67 caps.  He was also an important player in the Dutch team that finished fourth in the 1998 FIFA World Cup and again reached the semifinal of Euro 2000.

CB:  Rinus Israel
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 
At one point, Frank De Boer was Holland'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 
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 
LB/DM:  Giovanni Van Bronckhorst
Giovanni Van Bronckhorst played for his country in three FIFA World Cups, in 1998, 2006 and 2010, as well as three UEFA European Championships, in 2000, 2004 and 2008.  He was the captain of Holland at World Cup 2010, where Holland finished second.  He played 106 times for Holland.  He won the Champions' League for Barcelona in 2005-2006. He also played wirh Feyenoord, Arsenal and Rangers.  

CM: Frank Rijkaard
Frank Rijkaard was one of Holland's most important player.  Capped 73 times.  He won the 1988 European Championship in West Germany. He notably played for Ajax and AC Milan. He spent 5 seasons with AC Milan when Milan 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.

CM: Willem Van Hanegem
In Holland, he was widely considered the second best Dutch player in the 1970's and perhaps, the greatest player for Feyenoord. He won the European Cup with Feyenoord in 1970.  He was capped 52 times between 1968 and 1979.  He was an important player at the World Cup Finals in 1974, but he missed the WC Finals in 1978.  He also played in NASL.
Willem Van Hanegem

CM: Johan Neeskens
He 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 WC Finals in 1974 and 1978.  He was Holland's top scorer at the 1974 World Cup.  He also won three straight European Cups with Ajax: 1971, 1972, 1973. He also played with Barcelona and NY Cosmos.
Johan Neeskens

CM: Edgar Davids
Nicknamed "the Pitbull", he was one of the greatest defensive midfielders in the world.  He won the European Champions' League with Ajax in 1995.  He was an important player at the WC Finals in 1998 when Holland reached the semi-final. He also spent 7 seasons with Juventus at the height of his career. He also played for Tottenham Hotspurs, Barcelona, AC Milan, etc.

RW/LW/FW: Arjen Robben
He was an important player for Bayern Munich's dominance in Europe as they reached three Champions' League Finals in 4 years, winning one.  He also played with PSV, Real Madrid and Chelsea. For the national team, he had 97 caps. He helped Holland to reach the WC Final in 2010 and then the semi-final in 2014. He also went to the 2006 WC Finals. 
Arjen Robben
LW: Coen Moulijn
He was considered the best left winger in Dutch football.  He started his career with Xerxes in 1954.  A season later, he joined Feyenoord. He stayed there until 1972. He won the European Cup and the Intercontinental Cup with them in 1970. He had 38 caps at a time when Holland was not considered a major power in football.  He scored 4 goals for the Netherlands national football team.

AM: Ruud Gullit
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.

Gullit with Van Basten
FW:  Faas Wilkes
He was one of the first Dutch player to play aboard.  In 1949, he joined Inter Milan, where he had the best of his career.  He also had a great career with Valencia..  He was considered to Holland's best player until the emerge of the Golden Generation of the 1970's. He was capped 38 times scoring 35 goals.  He was banned from the national team between 1949 and 1955 because KNVB did not select professional players. He was Holland's all-time leading scorer until 1998.

FW: Johan Cruyff
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
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.

ST:  Marco Van Basten
He was probably the second best Dutch player and among the best striker in football's history.  He won the Ballon d'Or three times.  He led Oranje to the victory at Euro 1988 scoring 5 goals at the tournament.  His goal in the Final is considered one of the best in history of the tournament. He started his career with Ajax.  He also won two European Cups with AC Milan, a club team that was considered the best ever.  
Marco Van Basten
ST: Ruud Van Nistelrooy
He was a prolific goal scorer. He won the top scorer award in three different European domestic leagues. He started with PSV Eindhoven.  He spent 5 seasons with Manchester United where he was voted as their best player twice.  With Real Madrid, he finished second as the European Golden Boot.  Van Nistelrooy earned 70 caps and scored 35 goals for the Netherlands. 
Ruud Van Nistelrooy
Honorable Mention
Hans Van Breukelen, Piet Keizer, Berry van Aerle, Wesley Sneijder, Johnny Rep, Robin Van Persie, Barry Hulshoff, Jan Wouters, Arie Haan, Wim Jensen, Rob Rensenbrink, Clarence Seedorf, Kees Rijvers, Willy Van De Kerkhof, Marc Overmars, Rafael van der Vaart.

Squad Explanation
-- Piet Keizer and Rob Rensenbrink were the biggest names missing from this team. I decided to select two old-timers(Wilkes and Moulijin) and two younger players (Bergkamp and Robben) over them.   
-- Wesley Sneijder, I felt, had one good season in 2009-2010 where he won the Champions' League with Inter Milan and the Golden Silver Ball at the WC Finals.  His club career in other seasons, however, were marked with a lot of inconsistency. However, I gave him credit for leading Holland to 2nd place at the World Cup Finals in 2010.  In the end, Gullit, Bergkamp, Wilkes, Van Hanegem and Cruyff are ahead of him,,
-- Johnny Rep was left off since a handful of younger players emerged after the 1970's. Liked Keizer and Rensenbrink, he is the most successful name not on this team. 
-- Ruud Van Nistelrooy won the top scorer in three different countries.  Besides, other than Van Basten, Holland does not have another striker better than him.

Starting lineup
I am using the classic 4-3-3 formation from Holland 1974.  However, tactics would be very different.  On paper, Cruyff was moved to the wing, but he would move around the field so it did not matter where he lined up.  Holland 1974 did not have a classic striker in Van Basten.  So I am playing with a target man.  In 1974, Wim Jensen played in the midfield.  I replaced him with Ruud Gullit, a more offensive player than Jensen. This formation would probably reduce Neeskens' movement. He would drop back more often.

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