Making their first appearance at a European Championship or World Cup finals since 2014, the Netherlands have an excellent chance of progressing from an inviting Group C.
Back up to 16 in the FIFA world rankings after dropping to a record low of 36 in 2017, Oranje’s squad possesses a mixture of seasoned professionals and elite young talent. Euro 2020 is likely to be too soon to make a serious challenge for the title, but with the likes of Matthijs de Ligt and Frenkie de Jong still to reach their prime, the Netherlands could be a force in the next few years.
Group C: NETHERLANDS, Ukraine, Austria, North Macedonia
Captain: Virgil van Dijk (not travelling to Euro 2020 – injured)
Head Coach: Frank De Boer
FIFA Ranking: 16
Best Finish: Champions – 1988
NETHERLANDS v Ukraine – 13 June, 20:00 (BST). Johann Cruyff Arena, Amsterdam, Netherlands
NETHERLANDS v Austria – 17 June, 20:00 (BST). Johann Cruyff Arena, Amsterdam, Netherlands
North Macedonia v NETHERLANDS – 21 June, 17:00 (BST). Johann Cruyff Arena, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Oranje finished a close second to Germany in qualifying Group C, earning the final automatic qualification place in the process. Meetings between the top two were high-quality affairs that finished 3-2 and 4-2 to the away sides, while the only other team to avoid defeat against Frank de Boer’s side were Northern Ireland in the penultimate fixture, drawing 0-0. Belarus and Estonia propped up the group.
Goalkeepers: Marco Bizot (AZ), Tim Krul (Norwich), Maarten Stekelenburg (Ajax)
Defenders: Nathan Aké (Manchester City), Daley Blind (Ajax), Matthijs de Ligt (Juventus), Stefan de Vrij (Inter Milan), Denzel Dumfries (PSV), Patrick van Aanholt (Crystal Palace), Joël Veltman (Brighton), Owen Wijndal (AZ)
Midfielders: Frenkie de Jong (Barcelona), Marten de Roon (Atalanta), Ryan Gravenberch (Ajax), Davy Klaassen (Ajax), Teun Koopmeiners (AZ), Quincy Promes (Spartak Moskva), Jurriën Timber (Ajax), Georginio Wijnaldum (Liverpool)
Forwards: Steven Berghuis (Feyenoord), Luuk de Jong (Sevilla), Memphis Depay (Lyon), Cody Gakpo (PSV), Donyell Malen (PSV Eindhoven), Wout Weghorst (Wolfsburg)
Danger Man – Memphis Depay
Approaching the heights he was tipped for when he moved to Manchester United in 2015, 27-year-old Memphis Depay enters Euro 2020 as Netherlands’ main attacking outlet on the back of a 20-goal season in Ligue 1 with Lyon.
Still an enigmatic figure who rarely looks interested on the pitch, Depay is more than capable of moments of magic in the big moments, as highlighted by his late free kick to rescue a draw in the warm up friendly against Scotland.
One to Watch – Ryan Gravenberch
One of two teenagers in the Netherlands’ squad along with Jurriën Timber, midfielder Ryan Gravenberch has made a big impact in his first full season in the Ajax first team.
Appearing in all five of Oranje’s fixtures in 2021 so far, it’s no surprise to see the likes of Liverpool and Chelsea linked with the 19-year-old in recent weeks. Likely to start alongside Frenkie de Jong and Georginio Wijnaldum in the middle of a 5-3-2 formation, Ryan Gravenberch has the potential to be the breakthrough star of Euro 2020.
Premier League Representation
Nathan Aké, Joël Veltman and Patrick van Aanholt are the only members of the 26-man squad to have appeared in the Premier League in 2020/21, though several others have featured in the past.
Tim Krul has years of experience in the Premier League and will return next season with Norwich City, while Maarten Stekelenburg, Luuk de Jong, Steven Berghuis, Davy Klaasen, Martin de Roon, Memphis Depay and Daley Blind have all had stints in the Premier League over the last decade.
Manchester United midfielder Donny van de Beek was initially selected but misses out through injury
Route to the Final
- If Netherlands top the group, they will play the team who finishes third in Group D, E or F.
- If Netherlands finish second, they will face the team who finish top of Group A (Turkey, Italy, Wales, Switzerland)
- If they finish as one of the four best third-place teams, they will play the winner of either Group E or F.
After the second round, the draw will depend on which third-place teams qualified for the knockout stages.
- Netherlands have reached the semi-finals of the European Championship on five occasions (1976 began at the semi-final stage, a group stage was introduced in 1980), but have only reached the final once (1988)
- Georginio Wijnaldum has scored more goals in his last 22 international appearances (12), than in his last four Premier League seasons for Liverpool (10)
- Netherlands have only faced their Group C opponents once in a major tournament – a 5-1 victory over Austria in the 1978 World Cup