Football is one of the most popular sports in the Netherlands. They have trained some of the most skilful footballers in history who have influenced the sport all over the world. The Dutch have provided world football with some great players, coaches and one beautiful concept of how to play the game.
Here are 10 famous Dutch football players of all time
1. Johan Cruyff
Johan Cruyff is a Dutch midfielder and one of the most famous Dutch football players of all time He has been winning multiple leagues and European championships. At the 1974 World Cup, he performed a trick that later was named after him, the "Cruyff Turn", a move widely replicated in the modern game. He picked up trophies while playing for Ajax, Barcelona and Feyenoord and was a premier part of the inception of Total Football. Cruyff was known globally as “The total footballer’.
Also Read | Greatest French Football legends of all time
2. Marco van Basten
Marco van Basten is regarded as one of the most prolific strikers in the history of the game. At the club level, he was the jewel in the Dutch crown of AC Milan, helping them to three Serie A titles and two European Cups alongside Rijkaard and Gullit. He also won three Eredivisie titles, three KNVB Cups and the Cup Winners’ Cup during his time with Ajax. He has won the Dutch footballer of the year on two occasions and also won the prestigious Ballon d'Or in 1987. He has earned his place among the famous Dutch football players.
3. Rudd Gullit
Rudd Gullit is a former football player and currently the Dutch team's manager. He was a midfielder When he played professionally between the 1980s and 1990s. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest and most famous Dutch football players of all time. He captained the Netherlands national team that was victorious at UEFA Euro 1988 and was also a member of the squad for the 1990 FIFA World Cup and Euro 1992. Gullit was one of the greatest Dutch captains to have ever lived.
Also Read | Top 10 German football legends of all time
4. Dennis Bergkamp
Dennis Bergkamp is one of the most famous Dutch football players of all time. His technique on the field was one of the finest ever seen. Bergkamp was named the Dutch Footballer of the Year twice and came third and second in the voting for the Ballon d’Or in 1992 and 1993 respectively. He also came third in the FIFA World Player of the Year awards on two occasions and is an inductee into the English Football Hall of Fame. Bergkamp gave viewers some brilliant moments on the pitch and was a successful player in terms of achievements as well.
5. Johan Neeskens
Johan Neeskens is another player from that great Ajax team in the early ’70s. This midfielder’s technical skills and goal-scoring abilities made him an integral player for both his club and country. Johan was a key member of the 1974 Netherlands squad and was one of the main reasons the Netherlands impressed in that competition.
Also Read | Greatest Italian football legends of all time
6. Ronald Koeman
Ronald Koeman is a Dutch professional football manager and former player. Individually, he was named the Dutch Footballer of the Year in 1987 and 1988, beating off stiff opposition from the likes of Marco van Basten, Frank Rijkaard and Ruud Gullit. Koeman was able to play both as a defender and as a midfielder. He played as a sweeper most of the time, although he was known for his goal scoring from free-kicks and penalties. He was the manager of the Netherlands national team from 2018 to 2020. In August 2020, he was selected as the manager of Barcelona.
7. Frank Rijkaard
Frank” Edmundo Rijkaard who is a Dutch former footballer and former manager who played as a midfielder or defender is also among the most famous Dutch football player of all time. Due to his aggression and flexibility, he could play as a central midfielder, and even in a defensive role, usually in the center. He represented the Netherlands national team 73 times and scored 10 goals. In his managerial career, he managed the Netherlands national team, Sparta Rotterdam, Barcelona, Galatasaray and the Saudi Arabia national team.
8. Willem van Hanegem
Willem Hanegem played as a midfielder, he made almost 300 league appearances in two spells for the club, helping them to three league titles, the KNVB Cup, the European Cup and the UEFA Cup at a time when Ajax was expected to sweep all before them. He was part of the side that reached the final of the 1974 World Cup and finished third in the European Championships. In a playing career spanning over 20 years, he won several domestic honors in the Netherlands, as well as a European Cup and a UEFA.
Also Read | Greatest English football legends of all time
9. Faas Wilkes
Out of all the famous Dutch footballers that played for the Netherlands national team, Faas Wilkes is probably the most stunning and most underrated talent the Netherlands has ever produced. He played as a forward and earned a total of 38 caps for the Dutch national team, in which he scored 35 goals.
10. Edwin van der Sar
Edwin van der Sar is known for his outstanding pace, mobility, and athleticism. He was one of the best goalkeepers for the Dutch and Manchester United. He is one of the members of the golden generation of Ajax and was part of the club that won the UEFA Champions League in 1995. He left Ajax for Juventus in 1999, where he spent two years before moving to the Premier League. He first signed for Fulham and then Manchester United in 2005. There he won a second UEFA Champions League title in 2008, which made him one of eight players at the time to have won the title with more than one club. He played 130 games for his country, and was the most-capped player for Netherlands until 2017, when Wesley Sneijder overtook him.
Also Read | Greatest Spanish football legends of all time