The last time it happened was in 1996 in a friendly against
China, some 221 matches ago, the Algemeen Dagblad reported on
Since then the Dutch have had at least one ‘Van’ on the field
but ironically in the reign of coach Louis van Gaal that run is
about to end.
Van Persie is suspended after being booked in the opening two
wins over Spain and Australia.
The last time the Netherlands played in the World Cup finals
without a ‘Van’ they lost a group match in 1994 in Orlando to
neighbors Belgium, for whom Franky van der Elst lined up on the
Injury before the tournament in Brazil kept Rafael van der Vaart
out of the Dutch squad and full back Gregory van der Wiel, who
played in the 2010 final, was left out because of poor form.
Dutch football is littered with venerable footballing ‘Vans’ -
Marco van Basten, Edwin van der Sar, Giovanni van Bronckhorst
and Ruud van Nistelrooy in recent times and the likes of Willem
van Hanegem and the Van der Kerkhof brothers, who played in past
(Reporting by Mark Gleeson; Editing by Ed Osmond;
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