Football

Holland : Greatest ever XI

Van Basten: 1988's hero (©GettyImages)
Van Basten: 1988's hero (©GettyImages).

One of most curious facts in football history is that the Dutch has never won the World Cup.

Even though they reached three finals they never managed to reach the pantheon of football, which certainly is the World Cup title.

They did play some truly glorious football though, and the iconic orange has been worn by some of the best ever. The likes of Cruyff, Van Basten, Rijkaard and Gullit are just some of the legendary figures that Holland gave to the world.

Here, GMS Academy writer Thanos Batzios names his greatest ever Oranje XI. 

Goalkeeper : Edwin Van der Sar

Part of the golden generation of the Oranje through the '90s, Edwin Van der Sar makes the squad insted of Hans Van Breukelen and Jan Van Beveren, because of his caps and performances.

He is the all-time leader in appearances for his country, having made 130.

Right-Back : Wim Suurbier

The right-back position is probalby the most problematic in Holland's history. The great exception is Wim Suurbier.


An important member of the great Dutch team in the 70's, Suurbier was always surging forward to join the attack - and with his speed and passing ability, he was one of the most feared wingbacks in his time.

Centre-Back : Ronald Koeman

He certainly was not great at defending. He was slow and had no agility at all. 
He is though, the best scoring central defender of all-time.

He had an excellent passing ability and he unleashed super-powerful shots from great distance. 

Centre-Back : Frank De Boer

He started as a left-back, but his lack of pace through his aging made him switch to a great playmaking centre-back with above-average defensive awarness.

De Boer also provided a spectacular long pass and set-piece specialty too.

Left-Back : Ruud Krol

Probably the best Dutch defender of-all-time, Ruud Krol was both elegant and a hardman.

A left-back for most of his career, combining hard tackling and accurate 60 metre crosses with his left foot. He served as a libero later in his career, when he moved to the Italian side of Napoli.

Defensive-Midfielder : Frank Rijkaard

Frank Rijkaard ranks as the archetype ideal defensive-midfielder. Tall, powerful, quick, technical and aggressive, he'd often had more interceptions in a game than all the defenders combined. 

Possibly the greatest ever of all the defensive midfielders.

Right-Midfielder : Ruud Gullit

The term "versatile", is often used when a player can play equally great in two or three positions. Ruud Gullit though, could play anywhere. And that is not an exaggeration.

During his wonderful career, he played as an attacking mid at PSV and Feyenoord, a right or left winger and striker at A.C. Milan and, a libero at Chelsea. 

No matter where he found himself on the pitch, Gullit provided with his technique, athletic abilities and leading presence.

Left-Midfielder : Johan Cruyff

This team could not have been taken seriously if this man was absent. The question is : Where should he play? Simply where he liked to play the most. On the left.

Cruyff's name is synonymous with the famous playing style of Total Football that Ajax and Holland brought in the early '70s.

He was a playmaker, provider and marksman rolled into one. He was known for his technique, acceleration and his unmatched vision and is simply one of the best ever.

Attacking-Midfielder : Dennis Bergkamp

Probably the greatest of the 1990s Dutch generation, Bergkamp was not always perfect when he played for his country, but he sure chipped in with moments of pure brilliance.

The most strongly remembered example is that of his fantastic goal against Argentina in the 1998 World Cup.

Centre-Forward : Marco Van Basten

One of the finest strikers in football's history, Marco van Basten married the technique and vision of a playmaker and the elegance of a winger with the killer instinct of a great striker. 

A three times European Footballer of the Year, he was the star of Euro 1988, scoring one of the most highlighted goals of-all-time against USSR in the final.
A serious injury in 1995 stopped his wonderful career when he was only 29.

Centre-Forward : Ruud Van Nistelrooy

If Van Basten is the undoubtable first choice for the striker's position, Van Nistelrooy is the strong second, beating players like Kluivert, Wilkes and Van Persie.

During his prime, everyone were certain for one thing. If Van Nistelrooy was to be in a one-on-one situation with the goalkeeper, it was a sure goal. Simple as that.

Write for GiveMeSport! Sign-up to the GMS Writing Academy here: http://gms.to/130seMa

DISCLAIMER: This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

Topics:
Football
Internationals

Article Comments

Trending

Read more

;