Bert VAN MARWIJK
Coach since 2008
A left winger of Go Ahead Eagles, AZ, MVV and Fortuna Sittard who earned of cap. Recalcitrant in his playing days but now a balanced coach who has a lot one confidence in his players. Won the UEFA Cup with Feyenoord in 2002. Had also spells at Fortuna and Borussia Dortmund. Became national coach after Euro 2008. Became world champion card playing with his father in 1975.
25 caps (0 goals)
Natural successor of the retired Edwin van der Sar. Remained number one despite losing his place at Ajax last season. Came back stronger and is safer and more reliable. Openly declared that he isn’t speculating on a transfer. Good with the ball at his feet but sometimes slips at crosses. Was a reserve at the 2006 World Cup.
0 caps (0 goals)
Veteran who could have an Indian summer as third goalkeeper. In the 2009–10 season, veteran Boschker featured in all 34 matches, as Twente won the first league title in the club’s history
3 caps (0 goals)
Goalkeeper with already eleven clean sheets in the Eredivisie this season despite playing at midtable Utrecht. Is Holland’s second choice goalkeeper. Athletic and reliable but sometimes shaky under pressure. Had an impressive performance in Holland’s last qualifier at a packed Hampden Park. Like Velthuizen should join a Dutch top club in the near future. Started his career on loan at FC Den Bosch.
28 caps (0 goals)
Mentally strong central defender of Moroccan descent, who can also play at right back. Not a regular starter at Stuttgart, but has a habit of late Holland squad inclusions. Replaced the injured Ryan Babel at Euro 2008, but private matters overshadowed the tournament. His wife Sabia was rushed into hospital after pregnancy complications, but doctors couldn’t save the life of his premature daughter Anissa. Despite the tragedy the Cannibal decided to play the quarter final against Russia.
6 caps (0 goals)
Surinam born left back who moved from FC Twente to Bayern Munich last summer. However, failed to deliver in Bavaria and was sent on loan to Celtic. Should be the successor of Van Bronckhorst after the World Cup. Made his debut in a friendly against Tunisia in February 2009. Was also invited to play the non FIFA Parbo tournament with the Surinam national team. Was forced to withdraw due to international duties with Holland.
51 caps (6 goals)
Is making an impact in the heart of the Everton defence since arriving from Atletico Madrid where, in his opinion, he was too often used as a right back. A product of the Ajax youth academy. Strong in the air and with a solid pass but sometimes loses his opponent out of sight. Has his own youth tournament in his birth place Alphen aan den Rijn. Will marry his girldfriend Sophie-Charlotte, sister of Sunderland’s Boudewijn Zenden, right after the World Cup.
53 caps (3 goals)
The first defender signed on the team sheet by Van Marwijk. Only squad member who played every minute of the qualifiers. Despite having more than 50 caps, Mathijsen still hasn’t convinced every pundit of his qualities. However, his performances for club and country are solid. Played for Willem II and AZ in Holland.
53 caps (3 goals)
Experienced defender and in normal circumstances assured of a World Cup ticket. But injuries and losing his place made him something of a surprise inclusion in the final 23.
Giovanni VAN BRONCKHORST
97 caps (5 goals)
35-year old skipper who will probably retire from international football after joining his third World Cup. Plays at left back but is an educated midfielder. Could get in trouble with a speedy winger. Returned to Feyenoord after winning the Champions League with Barcelona in 2007 in order to clinch the title but the plan turned out to be a disaster. Has a steady season in Rotterdam this time and is undisputed according to Van Marwijk. Of Moluccan descent.
Gregory VAN DER WIEL
8 caps (0 goals)
Heavily tattoed overlapping right back in Dani Alves style. Developed at the Ajax youth academy but not always easygoing and therefore was sent to satellite club Haarlem for three years. With the same speed as earning a place at Ajax he came into the national team. Was involved in a Twitter affair when he withdrew from a friendly in Australia due to a concussion but did visit a Lil Wayne concert and posted a picture of himself and the rapper on his Twitter page. Great moving forward but sometimes sloppy in his defensive duties. Of Antillian descent.
4 caps, (0 goals)
Central defender who was out of action the last two seasons due to knee injuries. Made his debut at AZ in the 2005 Uefa Cup semi final but he moved to Feyenoord after a dispute with Louis van Gaal. Disappeared from the national team, shortly after his debut in 2005, after being the scapegoat in Holland’s 3-1 friendly defeat against Italy. Has now returned.
Used his recovering time to work on his physics. Strong in the air and has a blistering shot. Regarded as the successor of Jaap Stam.
20 caps (0 goals)
Technically sound but injury prone midfielder who should have moved abroad instead of staying in Eindhoven. Looks like his progress has stopped. The playmaker was dropped back as a defensive midfielder by PSV coach Fred Rutten, but his chances in the national team are on the flanks. Role model to the Dutch Moroccan community, but was criticized for showing lack of leadership when elbowing Eyong Enoh (Ajax) and neglecting the press after defeats.
Nigel DE JONG
Manchester City (Eng)
40 caps (1 goal)
Utility player who made the defensive midfield positions his own. Never seen as a top talent but is still getting better and better. Surviving miraculously every new top signing at the Citizens. Combative but lately criticized for unnecessary bone crunching tackles. Has a company in expensive and exclusive cars along with a few former HSV teammates. His father Jerry earned three caps for Holland in the 1990s. Of Surinam descent.
Demy De ZEEUW
23 caps (0 goals)
After an earlier failed transfer attempt De Zeeuw gave his career a boost when moving from AZ to Ajax this season. With his dominant play and fore checking a key factor in Ajax’ champions race. Is selected for a holding role in midfield. Suffered a double fracture of his right leg at the age of 20 and is now misaligned.
59 caps (12 goals)
Mourinho’s man in Milan. After being sidetracked at Real Madrid he is now the midfield maestro at Internazionale. Twolegged, with a good free kick, but also a bit hot headed. His ego could be a problem during the tournament after showing his displeasure when being left on the bench. After a divorce he is now forming Holland’s celebrity couple with tv babe Yolanthe Cabau van Kasbergen, giving notice of a marriage.
Mark VAN BOMMEL
Bayern Munich (Ger)
54 caps (9 goals)
Van Marwijk’s son-in-law who returned to the squad after refusing to play under Marco van Basten. Leading player for both club and country and vital connection between defence and attack. Used to have his negative manners with sneaky fouls and whining, but now a winner at all costs. Organised a friendly between Bayern and Fortuna Sittard, where he made his debut at the age of 16, in order to save the club from bankruptcy.
Rafael VAN DER VAART
Real Madrid (Spa)
75 caps (15 goals)
Last one standing of the Dutch contingent in Madrid, partly because of his wife’s treatment for breast cancer. Isn’t playing regularly at Real but should collect enough playing time to book the trip to South Africa. His best position is behind the sole striker. A product of the Ajax youth system and he has already declared that he would love to finish his career in Amsterdam.
38 caps (5 goals)
Winger who has lost his place to Elia. Isn’t playing regularly at Liverpool, but still made the final 23. He has been part of the Netherlands national football team since 2005 and has represented his country at all youth team levels.
6 caps (1 goal)
Three years ago a reserve at relegating ADO Den Haag, now a sensational winger in Hamburg. Lightning fast and has a good cross, but should be more consistent and keep his head up. Once a member of the Ajax youth academy but sent away. Picked up the pieces in The Hague and quickly developed at FC Twente. Scored the only goal away in Glasgow so Holland kept their full score in the qualifiers. Suffering from an ankle injury but fit in time. Named after jazz singer Al Jareau, of Surinam descent.
30 caps (15 goals)
Another one who used the escape route from Madrid. However, unlike the others, Huntelaar is struggling in the Serie A. Is often on the bench in Milan. But with lack of upfront strikers the former Ajax player should earn his ticket. When gaining rhythm he should be a goalscoring machine again.
60 caps (14 goals)
Hardworking and indefatigable attacker who is a crowd favourite for his modest and positive attitude. Called Mr Duracell because he is never running out of batteries. Son of a fisherman. Every time he switched clubs there were doubts if he could make it. However, Kuijt always proved his criticasters wrong. Formerly an upfront striker but moved to the right flank at Liverpool and the national team. Has his own foundation to fundraise money in order to let disabled people sport.
Bayern Munich (Ger)
46 caps (11 goals)
When arriving from Real Madrid Robben needed little time to impress at Bayern Munich. Already dubbed Flanken Gott (flank God) for his dazzling dribbling and speedy runs. Can play on either flank and is Holland’s world class winger. However, Robben is very injury prone and it remains to be seen whether he stays fit this time.
11 caps (0 goals)
Left footed defensive midfielder who is competing with Engelaar for a cover spot. An ankle injury prevented Schaars from taking part in most of the 2006–07 season and he didn’t play a single Eredivisie game during the following season, effectively ruled HIM OUT OF eURO 2008.
Robin VAN PERSIE
41 caps (14 goals)
Has developed himself into the key factor of Van Marwijk’s plans. Can play on either flank, in central midfield or even upfront alone. However, that last experiment was brutally interrupted by Giorgio Chiellini’s horrific tackle in a friendly against Italy. Sidelined at Arsenal most of the second half of the season, but he will be fit in time. Shows more maturity and leadership since moving to London.