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Marco van Basten celebrates against England at the 1988 finals ©Getty Images


Best result: winners 1988
Coach: Louis van Gaal
Leading scorer: all-time – Robin van Persie (41); current – Robin van Persie (41)
Most appearances: all-time – Edwin van der Sar (130); current – Rafael van der Vaart (109)
Association formed: 1889
Nickname: Oranje (Orange)
Where they play: Amsterdam ArenA, Amsterdam

The Netherlands will make their tenth FIFA World Cup finals appearance this summer and will be aiming to reach the same number of UEFA European Championship final tournaments in France. Widely renowned for the inventive quality of their football, the Oranje have reached three World Cup finals but lost the lot, their 2010 extra-time defeat to Spain following on from back-to-back losses against host nations West Germany and Argentina in the 1970s. They did become champions of Europe, however, in 1988 when Rinus Michels' talented team, including classy forwards Ruud Gullit and Marco van Basten, lifted the Henri Delaunay Cup in Munich.

EURO pedigree
Matches played
Overall: P135 W85 D22 L28 F298 A108
Final tournament: P35 W17 D8 L10 F57 A37
Qualifying: P100 W68 D14 L18 F241 A71
At the 1988 UEFA European Championship in West Germany, the Netherlands finally seized their moment on the international stage, an unforgettable Van Basten volley in the final completing a 2-0 victory against the Soviet Union and securing the Oranje their first major trophy. They have been ever-present in the final tournament since, reaching the last four in 1992, 2000 and 2004.

A side captained by Johan Cruyff finished third on their debut in 1976, eliminated in extra time by Czechoslovakia in the semi-finals. In 1992 and 2000 they lasted the additional 30 minutes before succumbing on penalties. Those disappointments came amid a run of four shoot-out exits in five major tournaments, the EURO '96 quarter-final defeat included.

Memorable EURO matches
25/06/2000: Netherlands 6-1 Yugoslavia, UEFA EURO 2000 quarter-finals
Patrick Kluivert's hat-trick helped Oranje to their record EURO victory in Rotterdam.

25/06/1988: Netherlands 2-0 USSR, 1988 UEFA European Championship final
Gullit's header and Van Basten's volley ended the nation's wait for major honours.

21/06/1988: West Germany 1-2 Netherlands, 1988 UEFA European Championship semi-finals
Van Basten's late winner earned revenge for their 1974 World Cup final defeat.

Did you know?
The Netherlands have never lost a home game in UEFA European Championship qualifying, recording 41 victories and eight draws. They did, however, lose 2-1 to Luxembourg in a qualifier Rotterdam on 30 October 1963, though that was technically an away fixture.

*Last updated on 07/01/14

Last updated: 28/01/14 18.21CET

Trophy cabinet

Club record in UEFA competitions

  • Biggest win:
    02/09/2011, Netherlands 11-0 San Marino, Eindhoven
  • Biggest defeat:
    18/06/1996, Netherlands 1-4 England, London
    10/09/1975, Poland 4-1 Netherlands, Chorzow
  • Appearances in UEFA European Football Championship: 14
  • Player with most appearances: 38
    Wesley Sneijder (NED)
  • Top scorers: 19
    Klaas-Jan Huntelaar (NED)