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Netherlands Euro 2008 Squad



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It is 20 years since Holland won the one major title in their footballing history, and many believe they finally have a squad talented and united enough to replicate their success in Germany back in 1988. Marco van Basten knows a thing or two about what it takes to score goals at the top level and he is lucky enough to be able to select from a talented array of attackers.

The Dutch legend recently switched from playing with a three-man attack, to a 4-2-3-1 system at the request of his players. Despite the emergence of the prolific Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, Ruud van Nistelrooy is used as a target man and he is supplemented by three offensive minded midfielders. For those positions, Van Basten can choose from the likes of Robin van Persie, Arjen Robben, Wesley Sneijder and Rafael van der Vaart.

Van Persie and Robben have been plagued by injury over the past two years, but have returned to fitness as their respective domestic seasons drew to a close, and their freshness could be significant as the tournament reaches its climax. With Sneijder and Van der Vaart providing the ammunition behind, the Dutch will no doubt provide excellent viewing. But doubts remain about their defensive solidity.

The international retirements of Phillip Cocu and Mark van Bommel have left them short of a strong physical enforcer in midfield. Demy de Zeeuw is likely to fill that role, but he has suffered a disappointing season with AZ, while at the back, doubts linger over the suitability of Joris Mathijsen to the rigours of top-level international football.

The draw has been far from kind to Van Basten, with world champions Italy, double European Championship winners France and Romania, who they finished runners-up to in qualification, set to provide stiff competition. After reaching the semi-final four years ago, and with a squad seemingly united, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the Dutch making a major impression at Euro 2008.

Flag of the Netherlands Netherlands Euro 2008 Squad

Head coach: Marco van Basten

No. Pos. Player DoB (Age) Caps Goals Club
1 GK Edwin van der Sar 29 October 1970 (37) 123 0 Flag of England Manchester United
2 DF André Ooijer 11 July 1974 (33) 33 2 Flag of England Blackburn Rovers
3 DF John Heitinga 15 November 1983 (24) 33 5 Flag of the Netherlands Ajax
4 DF Joris Mathijsen 5 April 1980 (28) 27 2 Flag of Germany Hamburg
5 MF Giovanni van Bronckhorst 5 February 1975 (33) 73 4 Flag of the Netherlands Feyenoord
6 MF Demy de Zeeuw 26 May 1983 (25) 10 0 Flag of the Netherlands AZ
7 FW Robin van Persie 6 August 1983 (24) 23 7 Flag of England Arsenal
8 MF Orlando Engelaar 24 August 1979 (28) 4 0 Flag of the Netherlands Twente
9 FW Ruud van Nistelrooy 1 July 1976 (31) 59 30 Flag of Spain Real Madrid
10 MF Wesley Sneijder 9 June 1984 (23) 42 8 Flag of Spain Real Madrid
11 FW Arjen Robben 23 January 1984 (24) 31 8 Flag of Spain Real Madrid
12 DF Mario Melchiot 4 November 1976 (31) 19 0 Flag of England Wigan Athletic
13 GK Henk Timmer 3 December 1971 (36) 4 0 Flag of the Netherlands Feyenoord
14 DF Wilfred Bouma 15 June 1978 (29) 32 2 Flag of England Aston Villa
15 DF Tim de Cler 8 November 1978 (29) 10 0 Flag of the Netherlands Feyenoord
16 GK Maarten Stekelenburg 22 September 1982 (25) 11 0 Flag of the Netherlands Ajax
17 MF Nigel de Jong 30 November 1984 (23) 19 0 Flag of Germany Hamburg
18 FW Dirk Kuyt 22 July 1980 (27) 35 6 Flag of England Liverpool
19 FW Klaas-Jan Huntelaar 12 August 1983 (24) 12 7 Flag of the Netherlands Ajax
20 MF Ibrahim Afellay 2 April 1986 (22) 3 0 Flag of the Netherlands PSV Eindhoven
21 FW Ryan Babel 19 December 1986 (21) 22 4 Flag of England Liverpool
22 FW Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink 7 November 1978 (29) 14 3 Flag of Scotland Celtic
23 MF Rafael van der Vaart 11 February 1983 (25) 50 12 Flag of Germany Hamburg

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