4/cbsXpOCPcxBfFdC4VVPtsFFh0MCu.0u-0A27oIoUXaDn_6y0ZQNh65fvEiQI

2014 World Cup Nation Profile: Netherlands

2014 World Cup Nation Profile Netherlands

Photo Courtesy of Openclipart.org

The 2014 World Cup is approaching fast as we are less than 40 days until the first kickoff. We will be previewing each participating country over the next two weeks in order to give you a little background on how that nation qualified for the World Cup as well as some key players to keep an eye on as the tournament progresses. We continue our coverage with the Netherlands.

2014 World Cup Nation Profile

Confederation: UEFA
Manager: Louis van Gaal
2014 FIFA World Cup Group: B
FIFA World Rank: 15 (as of April 2014)
Qualifying Record (W-D-L): 9-1-0
All-Time FIFA World Cup Record (W-D-L): 22-10-11

Impact Players

1. Wesley Sneijder — Galatasaray (Turkish Super League) — Wesley Sneijder is listed as a midfielder but he may be the best attacking option out of the midfield that any nation will bring to Brazil. People may forget that Sneijder scored five goals during the 2010 World Cup; he has 80 goals over his long club career as well.

His move to Galatasaray from Inter Milan was questioned by some as the Turkish League does not have the same level of clubs top to bottom as a league like the Serie A does. It has since become known that he was falling out of favor with the Italian club due to contract issues.

2. Robin van Persie — Manchester United (English Premier League) — Goal scoring is always important in soccer but it may be the biggest key for the Dutch this summer. Van Persie will be the focal point of the Orange attack and he will look to bring some good to his season of horrors at Manchester United.

Rumors are circulating that Dutch manager Louis van Gaal is the front-runner for the United job. If he is indeed hired, it will be very interesting to see how he utilizes RVP and if that could be an indication for his future use with United.

3. Arjen Robben — Bayern Munich (German Bundesliga) — Arjen Robben is the player that you love to hate. His is very arrogant on the pitch but the thing that makes him different from the others like him is that he backs it up with his play.

Robben also has a knack for scoring at very important goals at critical times. His late goal for Bayern last season lifted them to the UEFA Champions League Title over rival Borussia Dortmund in May 2013. Keep an eye on him if the Dutch are in need of a goal in crunch time.

Group Stage Schedule

June 13: vs. SpainArena Fonte Nova (Salvador), 3:00 p.m. EDT
June 18: vs. Australia, Estádio Beira-Rio (Porto Alegre), 12:00 p.m. EDT
June 23: vs. ChileArena de São Paulo (São Paulo), 12:00 p.m. EDT

Prediction

Ever since the Dutch lost to Spain in the 2010 World Cup Final, it seems as though they have struggled against the top tier of nations around the world. These struggles have caused them to enter this edition of the competition ranked back at 15th in the World. I feel like people will overestimate the Dutch and the desperation of needing a result in their final group match with Chile could come back to haunt them.

My bold prediction for the 2014 World Cup is that the Netherlands will not make it out of the group stage.

Check back in with Stoppage Time Soccer for all of your 2014 World Cup news and notes from training camps all the way through the Final.

Matthew Evans is a soccer writer for Stoppage Time Soccer. “Like” him on Facebook, Follow him on Twitter, or add him to your network on Google

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *