Who are the best Dutch football players? This list includes the greatest soccer players who have ever played for the Dutch national team. The best Dutch players ever have style, grace, and intelligence. These are the best of the lot for a country of around 17 million people though. The Netherlands has punched well above its weight with the number of outstanding footballers it has produced over the years. Current Dutch football stars such as Georginio Wijnaldum, Memphis Depay, Virgil van Dijk (c), and Denzel Dumfries are also making waves around the world.
Dutch football has produced some of the most well-known players in European football history. The three-time World Cup finalists. They are synonymous with a style of football that awes the watching world with their skills and ability, and players have risen through the ranks at Dutch clubs to become game icons. There was no shortage of options when coming up with the following top ten. Which ranged from Total Football in the 1970s to the European champions of 1988 and a selection of 21st-century greats. Let’s check out below who is the greatest Dutch footballer of all time?
Who Are The Top 10 Best Dutch Football Players?
The famous Netherlands national football team is an enormously successful national team. They had enormously successful managers who have propelled 17 million fans to the forefront of the footballing world. Despite being surrounded by more powerful countries such as France and Germany, this small country remains a breeding ground for football talent. But who are the greatest Dutch players of all time? Some players have become iconic at their clubs but have not had the same impact on their national teams.
1. Johan Cruyff Is The Best Dutch Football Players Ever
Cruyff was more than just a footballer; he was a visionary whose ideas influenced the game. Together with coach Rinus Michels, the Amsterdam native helped devise the fluid, modern ‘Total Football’ concept, which brought Cruyff staggering success as he won 18 major honors. His trophy list includes three consecutive European Cups, with Ajax between 1971 and 1973, as well as three Ballon d’Or. He went on to help Barcelona end a 14-year wait for a La Liga title. He was the figurehead of arguably the greatest national team ever to win a World Cup the Netherlands team of 1974. Cruyff’s influence would last far beyond his playing career, but he is still regarded as one of the greatest footballers of all time.
2. Marco van Basten
Van Basten’s resume is impressive: 301 goals, three European Cups, 11 domestic trophies, one European Championship, and three Ballon d’Ors. Given the magnitude of that haul, it’s hard to believe Van Basten could’ve accomplished even more if not for an injury that ended his career at the age of 28. He was a pure center-forward with an unstoppable goal-scoring instinct. And a dangerous with either foot and capable of finding the net from almost anywhere. He has his most famous strike, the ludicrous angled volley in the triumphant Euro 1988 final, demonstrated emphatically.
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3. Ruud Gullit
Ruud Gullit’s distinctive dreadlocks could be seen all over the field, from defence to midfield to attack, and the 1987 Ballon d’Or winner possessed levels of versatility and elegance that few if any, players before or since have matched. Gullit began his career as a sweeper for Feyenoord before progressing to midfield playmaker before playing wide in a front three or as a trequartista for AC Milan. He was the first and only Dutch captain to win a major award, scoring in a 2-0 victory over the Soviet Union in the Euro 1988 final.
4. Ronald Koeman
Trophies followed Ronald Koeman wherever he went. A versatile player capable of playing in defence or midfield and scoring a slew of goals along the way. The Dutchman won the European Cup with PSV before scoring the game-winning goal for Johan Cruyff’s Barcelona Dream Team’ against Sampdoria. Koeman’s legendary status stems from his contributions to the national team. He was named Team of the Tournament when the Netherlands won Euro 1988, scoring a penalty to help the Netherlands defeat hosts West Germany in the semi-finals.
5. Dennis Bergkamp
The Arsenal legend’s ability to conjure spectacular goals from thin air made him one of the most exciting strikers to grace the Premier League. He was a key figure during the Gunners’ glorious era of success around the turn of the century under Arsene Wenger. Bergkamp also scored one of the greatest World Cup goals against Argentina as the Netherlands reached the semi-finals of France in 1998. In that year he became his country’s all-time leading scorer – a position he would later lose to Memphis Depay, Patrick Kluivert, Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, and Robin van Persie.
6. Johan Neeskens
Johan Neeskens was a star on a Dutch team. He is one of the best if not the best international teams to never win a major championship. The former Ajax and Barcelona midfielder scored the opening goal in the 1974 World Cup final. The Netherlands would lose the next two finals in a row, to West Germany and Argentina, respectively. Despite this, Neeskens had a hugely successful club career, winning domestic and European titles. He’s one of the best in his position of all time, as well as one of the first box-to-box midfielders.
7. Frank Rijkaard
Frank Rijkaard was a driving force behind Holland’s success in the late 1980s. Rijkaard, an incredibly talented midfielder capable of dominating in defensive duties, provided the Dutch with the security they needed in games against many world-class teams. The classy midfielder was a key member of Arrigo Sacchi’s all-conquering AC Milan of the late 1980s and early 1990s, where he won two consecutive European Cups in a Dutch-flavoured side that included his international teammates Ruud Gullit and Marco van Basten. Rijkaard was instrumental in the Netherlands’ only major international triumph, Euro 1988. He was named to the Tournament Team.
8. Arjen Robben
Arjen Robben was unstoppable in his prime when enraged opponents knew the Dutch winger would cut inside from the right-wing and shoot with his lethal left foot but couldn’t do much about it. Former Dutch footballer who played as a winger. He was well-known for his dribbling abilities, speed, ball control, and long-range shooting. The winger’s resume is lengthy; he scored the game-winning goal in the 2013 Champions League final for Bayern Munich, one of 20 trophies he won in Bavaria, and he also won league titles with PSV, Chelsea, and Real Madrid, as well as leading the Netherlands to the World Cup final in 2010 and third place four years later.
9. Robin van Persie
Throughout his career, the former Arsenal and Manchester United striker found it easy to score goals. It was in the Eredivisie with Feyenoord, the Premier League where he won the Golden Boot twice in Turkey with Fenerbahce. Van Persie represented his country in four World Cups and two European Championships. Starting every match on their way to the 2010 World Cup final and captained them to the semi-finals four years later, scoring a spectacular diving header in a 5-1 win over Spain. He is the Netherlands’ all-time leading scorer, with 50 goals in 102 appearances.
10. Edwin van der Sar
Van der Sar, the Netherlands’ second most-capped player, appeared in goal 130 times in his 21-year international career. Edwin van der Sar is a former goalkeeper from the Netherlands. He played for AFC Ajax, Juventus, Fulham, and Manchester United. During his stellar career, winning 26 major trophies and several individual awards, including UEFA Club Goalkeeper of the Year in 2009. With Ajax and Manchester United, the slim goalkeeper was a two-time European Goalkeeper of the Year. Also, a European and multiple league champions, and holds the record for the longest streak without conceding at 1,311 minutes. Van der Sar made 266 appearances for Manchester United in all competitions, keeping 135 clean sheets.
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