Arjen Robben's probable last goal for Holland was an absolute stunner v Sweden

Netherlands v Sweden - FIFA 2018 World Cup Qualifier

At the 2014 World Cup, Holland - under the leadership of former Manchester United manager Louis van Goal - were one of the finest international sides on the planet.

Spearheaded by the likes of Arjen Robben and Robin van Persie, the men in orange reached the semi-finals of the showpiece in Brazil, while also thrashing Spain 5-1 in their group.

They were eventually eliminated by a Lionel Messi-lead Argentina on penalties, but it was a valiant effort from the side who were not given much of a hope before the tournament.

People suspected that the quality of player coming through was simply not good enough and that the stars that had injected quality were on their last legs.

While in 2014 it may not have been entirely true, that exact scenario has panned out three years later.


The Dutch have now missed out on qualifying for the last two major international tournaments, with France and Sweden progressing ahead of them this time around.

They weren't given a group as easy as the likes of England and Germany, but many expected them to finish above their Scandinavian opponents in the standings.

Their final game was against the Swedes, with Holland needing to win by seven goals in order to have a chance of qualifying.

Netherlands v Sweden - FIFA 2018 World Cup Qualifier


Sweden's 8-0 victory over Luxembourg essentially assured them of a place in the draw, but that didn't mean Robben couldn't give the loyal Dutch fans a memorable farewell.

The Bayern Munich winger was in fantastic form on what is likely to be his final International game, scoring twice.

The first was a penalty, which was actually very poorly taken, with his attempt at a Panenka just about creeping past the goalkeeper.

However, his second was a thing of true beauty, with the assist coming from former Liverpool man Ryan Babel.

Netherlands v Sweden - FIFA 2018 World Cup Qualifier

Just have a look and marvel at the brilliance of Robben.


Not bad, with that famous left foot lashing the ball into the net at a ferocious speed.

Sadly, a player of his ilk will not be in Russia, which after his memorable displays in Brazil three years ago, is a real shame.

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