Out of all the teams that will take part in the upcoming World Cup in Brazil next year, the Netherlands were one of the sides with the brightest qualifying run. This situation has been a trend that has been repeated in recent years as they always seem to be dominant prior to the tournament. That, however, doesn’t take away the accomplishment.
The team led by Arjen Robben and Robin van Persie was placed into Group D and had to battle with Turkey, Romania, Hungary, Estonia and Andorra for a ticket in Brazil. Despite the fact that Romania and Turkey were the only two teams that could’ve caused some kind of trouble to the Oranges, the numbers that the Dutch outfit posted in the qualifying round were simply mind-blowing.
To start, the team ended with a 9-1-0 record, notching 28 points out of 30. In that 10-game span, the Dutch outfit outscored their rivals 34-5 and had a very prolific offense with more than 10 players finding the back of the net. However, Netherlands’ success is something that goes beyond the numbers.
The team is usually a strong side in the qualifiers and their quality of play is top-notch. They employ a strategy based on passing the ball and having possession, something that usually wear teams down towards the final minutes. The core of the team is formed by experienced players like Wesley Sneijder, Robben and van Persie upfront and if they are on that day, they can create havoc against any opposition.
It remains to be seen if the Netherlands will be able to replicate this success in Brazil next year, but it’s difficult to argue that they had the most impressive qualifying run prior to the World Cup.