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FIFA World Cup 2010
Runners-up, 1974 and 1978
The Netherlands has had more than its share of glory, qualifying to the World Cup nine times. The team reached the World Cup finals twice, in 1974 and 1978. Interestingly, on both occasions the players of the Orange Machine fell against the host nations, Germany and Argentina, respectively.
None of the teams after the era of the legendary Johan Cruyff were able to reach the same level of soccer. Actually, the best performances of the Netherlands team in the last 25 years have been winning the Euro Cup 1988 and obtaining fourth place in the World Cup in France in 1998.
This year, however, the Dutch squad is the only team that has qualified for the 2010 World Cup without losing a single point.
The Netherlands squad, which is led by Bert van Marwijk, swept its opponents in the qualifying stage. The team took eight victories in the eight matches of the qualifying stage, although it remained scoreless against the strong teams of Norway and Scotland. Also the Orange Machine team received its only two goals against the teams of Iceland and Macedonia.
It is true that in the first leg, the Dutchmen barely won by the minimum against Scotland and Finland. Nevertheless, expectations are high. Any result below reaching the final is unacceptable, said the assistant coach, Frank de Boer. We'll see if the Orange Machine will make the cut.
The near mythical figure of Edwin van der Sar, Manchester United’s star goalkeeper and the player who has accumulated more games than any other on the Netherlands squad, decided to withdraw from the national team. Apparently, this will also be his last season with the English club before retiring. Without him, the team lacks a key player in its strategy. Coach van Marwijk has had to adjust his tactics due to the withdrawal; besides which, it is never an easy task to find a replacement for the goalkeeper position.
The new coach, largely keeping with the strategy of his predecessor, will count on the participation of Arjen Robben, Joris Mathijsen, Andre Ooijer, Dirk Kuyt, Mark van Bommel. Robin van Persie and Wesley Sneijder, who will be the responsible for the team’s offense.
Lambertus "Bert" van Marwijk was a former midfielder with a great reputation in his youth. Now he is taking the coaching position of the Netherlands team, facing high expectations. The 58-year-old manager, winner of the UEFA Cup in 2002 and awarded with several European titles, takes the Orange Machine expecting to guide the players to the top of the world football.