You cannot possibly have a blog discussing stuff that the Dutch like and not have freakin’ FOOTBALL on the list!

It’s a good time to be in the Netherlands: the sun is shinning, everyone seems to be on some sort of extended holiday, the World Cup is playing, and the Dutch are doing pretty darn well so far! So well in fact, that the chances of the Dutch team making it to the finals could be a bloody reality real soon!

Dutch people are (unlike myself a self-proclaimed “football-fan-when-gezellig“) mad for the stuff and take it very seriously ALL year round. In fact, football (aka: soccer) is THE most popular sport in the Netherlands! (America’s most popular sport is also ‘football’ – but we’re talking the oval ball kind) 😉

The Royal Dutch Football Association (KNVB) was founded in 1889 and later joined FIFA in 1904 as one of the founding members alongside Spain, France, Belgium, Denmark, Sweden and Switzerland. To put this is perspective, Canada – the COUNTRY- was only founded a short 12 years before the first Dutch football club was founded!

Over the decades Dutch people have madly cheered on their beloved Oranje – while dressed in oranje! Sadly the Flying Dutchmen have never been able to secure a World Cup win. Of course, there have been many near-misses but victory has remained elusive…

The Dutch team however are winners at something: unfortunately that something happens to be the number of times a team has reached the World Cup finals without ever winning.  3 times, my friends! 3  heart-breaking times! 🙁 🙁 🙁

8 random Dutch football facts
  1. Official jerseys are orange (or sometimes blue)
  2. Hup Holland Hup is the most popular football cheer
  3. The Dutch did win the European Cup in 1988 (but it ain’t no World Cup!)
  4. Their biggest loss ever was to England in 1912. The score was 12-2 (Bwhahaha – how things have changed!)
  5. In the 1970’s the Dutch team was nicknamed “Clockwork Orange” for their passing precision
  6. The Dutch invented the term “total football” – a strategic tactic where every player plays every position while on the field (i.e. defense, offense, midfield)
  7. Dutch coaches are high on the export list (they famoulsy helped boost South Korea, Australia, Russia, and so on!)
  8. Patrick Kluivert  Robin van Persie is the team’s top scorer  (with 40 46 goals!)
  9. Zee Germans are the Dutch team’s mortal enemy! (Of course!)
The German-Dutch rivalry is legendary. Here, Dutch footballer Frank Rijkaard spits on German Rudi Völler during the 1990 World Cup.

The German-Dutch rivalry is legendary. Here, Dutch footballer Frank Rijkaard spits on German Rudi Völler during the 1990 World Cup.

Tonight the Dutch play against Argentina. So many questions: Will Oranje pull this off??  Will we see the Dutch in the finals for the fourth time? Who will they battle? Will they finally be able to make history?

One thing is for sure: NOTHING would be more crushing then a loss to the Germans! (If that happens – head for the border folks! Flee!!! You certaintly don’t want to be in the country while a national depression takes hold!!)


 P.S. Have you got your ORANGE gear ready? Them Dutchies take fandom preeeetty seriously!

P.P.S. Oh…and if you’re wondering who I’m cheering for? It’s the Dutch of course! Afterall, they’ve got a Canadian on their team!

33 Responses

  1. bestiutza

    I am going to use earplugs tonight for sure!!!

  2. Robert

    Patrick Kluivert is not top scorer anymore. Robin van Persie has already scored 46 goals. And hopefully there will be a lot more this World Cup!

    • Sparky

      USA calls it soccer, almost all other countries call it football (except due to Americanisation).

  3. Niels

    Patrick Kluivert is no longer the top scorer. It is Van Persie now with 46 goals.

  4. Robert

    Robin van Persie is all time topscorer with 44 goals so far.

  5. matthijs

    If we kick the germans in the finals i will cry! My boss will be mad because i wo’nt work for days and i don’t know if i’ll survive such an experience!

  6. Patrick

    Random fact number 8 is wrong, it is van Persie with 46 goals nowadays.

  7. Evert

    My wife is English but will wear the Orange shirt tonight. Our daughter dates a Mexican guy, so she will be in green.

  8. Alex

    As Dutchman and football-fan I love this blog. Just one thing: Kluivert is no longer the topscorer of all times. Robin van Persie is, since last year.

  9. Miranda

    Kluivert is not the topscorer, that would be Robin van Persie, with 46 goals 😉

  10. Smikkelbeer

    The Canadian is 50% pinoy, just like our family…. So, we’ll cheer double as loud 🙂

  11. Walt

    Robin van Persie broke the record set by Patrick Kluivert during the qualifiers for this World Cup.

  12. Dennis

    Pssst, Kluivert is no longer all time topscorer, Robin van Persie had improved his record and is still going strong

  13. Dutchdude

    Van Persie has more goals now than Kluivert 🙂 the more you know 😛

  14. Sanne

    Will you ever write a post about the tradition of hoisting the flag and hanging our bags on it when we graduate school/college? That’s something typically Dutch, right?
    I love this site a lot! Since I’ve moved to the UK I’ve tried to explain all my weird Dutch quirks and it makes me realise just how many things are so very Dutch (I suffer from Dutch directness mostly).

  15. Quinten Ceelen

    Because of your Guzman link I became curious and came across the Wikipedia page of the Dutch team. The match against England was in 1907, not 1912 🙂

  16. renskeeee

    Hahaha and we kicked mexico’s butt! 😛 putt not all dutch watch or obsess about football .. Me 😛 but if we make it to the finals ofc I will cheer for them! ^^

  17. DianaP

    There is some stuff that come traditionally with dutch football matches: The song “viva holladia” (which is not really a spanish sentence, but a spanjard-disation of dutch origins, a short insight of the cheering royal dutch family. And The Captain, who is a guy dress like a ship captain totally in orange that never misses a national selection match (for the last 30 years or so no) matter where in the globe, he’s become a myth among sport t.v. presentators who keep reminding us who the cap’n is every time he’s shown on screen.
    During the whole 4 weeks of the WK the most traditional dutchies (granma’s) treat their guests with orange tompoes. A dessert tasty but difficult to eat, whose popularity is owned mainly to its colour and dutchiness.

    And you shouldn’t forget that people decorate their house outside in orange as enthusiastically as americans decorate their houses on Christmas in what has been called by the media “oranje fever” like this: . Part of the orange fever implies collecting little toys you get from the Alberthijn for free with your groceries (like the muisjes this year) and other selling stunts by competing supermarkets (like the jumbo roy donders juichpak).

    In conclusion there is more to the WK than just football… it is one of the few chances they take to be extremely nationalistic without feeling like they are irrationally nationalistic (which is something they learned to despise thanks to the nazi’s). And to them I say GO YOUR WAY! (ga je gang!)

  18. Remy

    Seeing that 12 of the 18 responses are about who the current top scorer is, I think it is safe to say your assumption that the Dutch take voetbal serious, is correct 🙂

    • Stuff Dutch People Like

      hahaha! Correct indeed 🙂

      …but it is lovely having such avid fact-checkers on hand! #never-claimed-to-be-a-die-hard-fan 😉 😉

  19. Vacinden

    “Zee Germans are the Dutch team’s mortal enemy! (Of course!)” Actually the Germans are my second favorite team. If we do not win I will cheer for them.

    A Dutch midget (1,81)

  20. gert

    The Dutch are not really good at individual sports with big money involved (tennis, formula 1, athletics, tour de france). Now you need a small miracle to actually win an appealing prize.

  21. Nick

    Do you have any further comment on their loss to Argentina? (I’m two generations out of the Netherlands and I’m devastated. I can only imagine how it is for the Dutch)

  22. Jeroen

    Nice article! But two things I would like to comment on:
    – First: It is Football, it will always be football, that the Americans call it soccer, that is up to them. Football is the biggest sport in the world in terms off players etc. The world cup is the second biggest sporting event, bar the Olympics. So being the best in this sport means something, it isn’t Cricket or American Football, where a hand full of countries even play the game. 😉
    – Second: I found myself actually in favor of the Germans winning the final and the semi final for that matter. I have a feeling that the immature rivalry between siblings has made place for a more friendly and more mature rivalry between friends. I saw this happening all over the place, cheering for the Germans. But,and that is a big BUT, that might have gone differently if we had made it to the finals and the Germans won yet again. Famous Dutch saying, football is a 90 minute game and in the end the Germans win. 😉


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