Holland football facts

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Football or soccer is the biggest sport in Holland. With over 1.2 million players, more people than ever enjoy this ball game. It is also very popular on television. Many matches are broadcast live and when the Dutch national team plays, the nation goes crazy and every football lover wears orange, our national color.

Did you know

  • Holland claimed third place in the 2014 World Championship. In the semi-final, Holland lost from Argentina after a round of penalties (2-4), unfortunately losing their chance at the world title. The Orange team did win the match against Brazil and with three goals against none definitely deserved their third place!
  • That the Dutch reached the World Cup final three times, but never won. Holland lost the World Cups in 1974 to West Germany, in 1978 to Argentina and in 2010 to Spain.
  • The Dutch won the European Cup in 1988. Goals of Ruud Gullit and Marco van Basten gave the Netherlands a 2-0 victory over USSR. Marco van Basten was the starplayer at that time.
  • That the biggest win ever was in 2011 against San Marino. After 90 minutes the score was 11-0. Other big wins were in 1912 against Finland and in 1972 against Norway. Both matches ended in a 9-0 win.
  • That the biggest loss ever was in 1912 against England. The final score was 12-2.
  • That the most yellow cards ever were drawn in the match between Holland and Portugal during the World Cup 2006: 12 yellow and 2 (4-times-yellow) red cards.

  • That the fastest penalty ever given on a World Cup was during the final between Holland and Germany in 1974. The Germans haven’t had any ball contact when the Dutch received a penalty in the first minute.
  • That the Dutch team participated in total 8 times at the Olympics of which seven times between 1908 and 1952. In this period they won three bronze medals.
  • Edwin van der Sar played the most matches for the Dutch team: 130.
  • In the 1970s the Dutch team was famous for its precision passing and it earned them the nickname ‘Clockwork Orange’.
  • The Dutch invented “Total Football”. A tactical theory in which every player should be able on every position in the field: defender, midfielder or attacker. A defender can suddenly be an attacker, which creates great confusion for the opponent.
  • Orange fans have been nominated several times for the Fair Play Award.
  • The Dutch team has been in the top 10 of the FIFA World Ranking for years. In August 2011 Holland was even number one for a few weeks.
  • Unfortunately, Holland did not manage to qualify for the 2016 European Championship and the 2018 World Cup.

Premier League

The best men's teams in Holland play in the Eredivisie (Dutch Premier League). The Eredivisie is a professional league, in which 18 teams compete for the national title.

ADO Den Haag, Den Haag
Ajax, Amsterdam, Amsterdam ArenA
AZ, Alkmaar
Excelsior, Rotterdam
Feyenoord, Rotterdam, De Kuip
C Groningen, Groningen
sc Heerenveen, Heerenveen
NAC Breda, Breda
PEC Zwolle, Zwolle
PSV, Eindhoven, Philips Stadion
Roda JC, Kerkrade
Sparta, Rotterdam
FC Twente, Enschede
FC Utrecht, Utrecht
Vitesse, Arnhem
VVV-Venlo, Venlo
Willem II, Tilburg