The greatest competition in the world is in full swing, well underway, and every other cliche you could think of for ‘having started already,’ but how much do we really know about all these teams? The Netherlands and Denmark kick off the action tomorrow morning (or afternoon, depending on what part of the world you live in) so let’s take a look into both sides before making and assumptions about either team.
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- The Dutch have gone to the tournament 8 times, making their maiden appearance at the World Cup in 1934, but have never won the competition. Johan Cruyff and his brilliant left foot helping the nation to appear in two straight finals in 1974 and 1978 (although he wasn’t in the 78 side), but losing each to ze Germans and Argentina, respectively.
- The team’s greatest success at the international level is being crowned European champions in 1988. The victory was sweetened a little by the fact that they got revenge over the Germans, who had beaten them in the world cup finals in 1974 by kicking them to the curb in the semi-finals.
- Clockwork Oranje also got revenge over the Argentinians in the 98 world cup, after the now famous “pulled down by Bergkamp!!!” 89th minute goal knocked out Argentina in the quarterfinals.
- Edwin Van Der Sar is the most capped Dutchman of all time, appearing in 130 matches for the Netherlands. Patrick Kluivert has kicked the most balls (into the back of the net) for the team, scoring 40 goals in 79 matches. Captain Giovanni Van Bronckhorst (remember him?) will lead the team into the tournament as captain, and is also the most experienced, sitting at 99 caps before the tournament began. Robin van Persie is the man with the most goals on the current squad with 18.
- The Netherlands are currently ranked 4th in the FIFA world rankings.
- Denmark have appeared in the World Cup on three previous occassions in 1986, 1998 and 2002. Their best result came in 1998 when the made it all the way to the quarterfinals. Their current FIFA ranking is 36.
- Denmark’s biggest triumph on the international stage is winning the 1992 European championship. Fortunately for them, they were never meant to be in that tournament, as they only qualified due to Yugoslavia having to pull out because of the Yugoslav wars. They also took home the Confederations Cup in 1995 in their only appearance in that tournament.
- Danish fans have adopted the notion of “Roligism”, which, contrary to what it might seem like, is actually the opposite of hooliganism. The term “rolig” translates to “calm”something that is reinforced by all Danish supporters.
- Although you might not notice it until it is brought to your attention, Denmark employs the old school system of numbering their players based on their position. The goalkeeper will wear 1, the defenders 2, 3, 4, and 5, and so on and so forth. All substitutes will wear numbers 12-16.
- The highest capped Dane in the current squad is John Dahl Tomasson with 110 appearances. Not far behind him are Dennis Rommedahl (96), Martin Jorgensen (96) and Tomas Sorensen (87), making for an experienced squad. Currently sitting at 51 goals, if Tomasson manages to score 2 goals in the tournament, he will surpass Poul Nielsen (52 goals) for the all time lead.
Netherlands v Denmark – Head-to-head
The most important statistic of all, however, is the all time matchup between these two nations. In 27 matches against each other, the Netherlands hold the advantage, winning 11 times and losing only 6. They have drawn 10 times. The Dutch have also historically outscored the Danes 55 to 36. The most important match between the two took place in the 1992 European championship semi-finals, where Denmark beat the defending European champion Oranje on penalties and then proceeded to beat defending world champs Germany in the final.
Watch Netherlands vs Denmark Live Online
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