Holland always look good on paper but rarely do they deliver on the world stage.
In recent World Cups, they have had mixed fortunes but they are results that don’t reflect the amount of talent they possess in their squad.
In 2006 they were out in the second round after losing to Portugal, in 2002 they failed to qualify, in 1998 they finished fourth and the two tournaments before that yielded a quarter-finals berth and another Round of 16 exit.
Before every major tournament, the Dutch are spoken in the same sentence as the favourites of the particular competition but never back up that faith that the media and the public seem to have in them.
2010, as it is for all 32 nations, could be the year for Holland if they can have all key players firing at the same time but much relies on the form of their attackers.
They are tipped to top Group E, and should do without too much fuss, but it is the phases after that where the Netherlands players seem to get stage fright.
Playing schedule: Denmark (Johannesburg) June 14; Japan (Durban) June 19; Cameroon (Cape Town) June 24
Also known as: The Oranje
Manager: Bert van Marwijk (NED)
Captain: Giovanni van Bronckhorst
Key players: Robin van Persie, Arjen Robben, Wesley Sneijder
Wildcard: Eljero Elia
Player to watch: Rafael van der Vaart
Most caps: Edwin van der Sar (130). Of this squad: Giovanni van Bronckhorst (99)
Top goalscorer: Patrick Kluivert (40). Of this squad: Robin van Persie (18)
FIFA ranking: 4
Qualifying: Top in UEFA group stage.
Best result: Runners-Up – 1974 & 1978
Ibrahim Afellay (PSV Eindhoven)
Nigel de Jong (Manchester City)
Demy de Zeeuw (Ajax)
Stijn Schaars (AZ Alkmaar)
Wesley Sneijder (Inter Milan)
Mark van Bommel (Bayern Munich)
Rafael van der Vaart (Real Madrid)
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