Best EURO performance: winners 1988
Coach: Bert van Marwijk
Leading scorer: all-time – Patrick Kluivert (40); current – Klaas-Jan Huntelaar (31)
Most appearances: all-time – Edwin van der Sar (130); current – Rafael van der Vaart (96)
Association formed: 1889
Still with only the 1988 UEFA European Championship to show for over four decades near the summit of world football, there are signs that the Oranje are ready for more silverware. For a while it looked like coming at UEFA EURO 2008, before Russia sent the Netherlands home in the quarter-finals. Out went Marco van Basten and his brand of attacking football; in came Bert van Marwijk's more pragmatic style, driving them beyond expectations to the 2010 FIFA World Cup final. Having stormed through qualifying, only dropping points in their final game when already through, anticipation will be higher in Poland and Ukraine.
UEFA EURO 2012 qualifying
Group E: winners
Leading scorer: Klaas-Jan Huntelaar (12)
Ever-presents: Gregory van der Wiel, Joris Mathijsen (10)
The Netherlands qualified with a game to spare after winning their opening nine matches before blotting their copybook with a 3-2 final-day defeat by nearest challengers Sweden.
Top scorers in qualifying, they recorded their biggest ever win on 2 September when they beat San Marino 11-0 in Eindhoven, Robin van Persie contributing four goals.
Klaas-Jan Huntelaar was the leading scorer en route to Poland and Ukraine with 12 goals in eight appearances (he registered in seven of them), finishing three clear of Miroslav Klose, the second highest.
"We have won nine in a row and advanced as group winners," Van Marwijk said after sealing progress with a 1-0 victory over Moldova. "Still, the feeling in the dressing room was one of disappointment. There was champagne, but no one drank it. I think that is a positive thing."
Three times FIFA World Cup runners-up, the Netherlands went one better in their only UEFA European Championship final appearance in 1988. Ruud Gullit and Van Basten, with that volley, struck against a USSR side Rinus Michels' men had lost to in their tournament opener. The Oranje have been ever-present in the final tournament ever since, reaching the semi-finals in 1992, 2000 and 2004. A side captained by Johan Cruyff finished third on their debut in 1976. The Netherlands were eliminated in extra time by Czechoslovakia in 1976, while in 1992 and 2000 they lasted the additional 30 minutes before succumbing to penalties. Those disappointments came amid a run of five shoot-out exits in six major tournaments, the EURO '96 quarter-final defeat included.
UEFA EURO 2012 Group B fixtures
Saturday 9 June: Netherlands v Denmark, 18.00CET, Kharkiv
Wednesday 13 June: Netherlands v Germany, 20.45CET, Kharkiv
Sunday 17 June: Portugal v Netherlands, 20.45CET, Kharkiv
Team EURO records
Overall: P131 W84 D22 L25 F288 A103
Final tournament: P32 W17 D8 L7 F55 A32
Qualifying: P99 W67 D14 L18 F233 A71
Click here for extensive list of records
Last updated 4 June 2012
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