Netherlands national football team
Netherlands Football Team

National Team Information

General Info

Oranje, Holland, Clockwork Orange, The Flying Dutchmen

World Cup Participation

1934, 1938, 1974, 1978, 1990, 1994, 1998, 2006, 2010, 2014, 2022


1988 UEFA Euro

Netherlands National Football Team History

It took the Netherlands national football team just one match to win their first ever trophy. They drew with Belgium 1-1 in the 1905 Coupe van den Abeele, but won in extra time, with Eddy de Neve scoring a hat trick.

The Oranje participated in their first official tournament a few years later, at the 1908 Summer Olympics. The Netherlands won the bronze medal in London by defeating Sweden 2-0 in the third-place game. They also won bronze in 1912 and 1920, and made the first Netherlands World Cup appearance in 1934.

Kick Smit was the first Dutch goalscorer in a World Cup, but the Oranje were eliminated in the opening round in both 1934 and 1938. The team ceased to be relevant until the rise of Dutch total football in the 1970s.

Playing their unique style of Total Football in their iconic orange kits, the Netherlands national football team beat Brazil and Argentina in the 1974 World Cup en route to making the final. In what would become a big rivalry, West Germany beat the Oranje 1-0 in the final. In their first ever European Championship appearance in 1976, the Dutch finished in third place.

Total football was a creation of Dutch club Ajax; it was perfected by attacking midfielder Johan Cruyff and adopted by national team coach Rinus Michels. It involved a sort of position-less soccer in which any player could take the position of another teammate during the course of the game.

The tactic has to do with a fluid system where no outfield player has a fixed role but switches between defense, midfield, and attack. The only player that is expected to keep their fixed role all along the match is the goalkeeper. The constant switching of positions needs total communication between the players when they move to a new area. Total Football has roots and influence in Austrian Matthias Sindelar in the 1930s, and in the Hungarian sides of the 1950s.

The Netherlands national football team were without Johan Cruyff at the 1978 World Cup due to a kidnapping attempt but still managed to make the final against hosts Argentina. Tied 1-1 in normal time, Argentina scored two goals in extra time to send the Dutch packing in the final for a second straight World Cup. After the total football era ended in 1980, the Netherlands missed three straight major international tournaments from 1982-1986.

Michels returned to coach the team at Euro 88. Striker Marco van Basten finished as top scorer, and the Netherlands managed to win their first ever major international tournament by beating beat rivals West Germany in the semis and the USSR in the final, with goals from Ruud Gullit and Van Basten.

Arsenal legend Dennis Bergkamp made a name for himself at Euro 92 when the Oranje reached the semifinal. Bergkamp led the Netherlands with three goals at the 1994 World Cup in the USA, but they fell to Brazil 3-2 in the quarterfinal.

The Oranje had a string of bad luck in penalties; they were eliminated from all of Euro 1996, the 1998 World Cup and Euro 2000 in shootouts. In the lead up to the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, the Netherlands won all eight of their qualifying matches and came in as one of the favorites in the tournament. Bert van Marwijk’s squad made their first World Cup final since 1978, but Andres Iniesta broke Dutch hearts as he scored the game’s only goal to give Spain their first World Cup win.

The Netherlands were ranked first in FIFA’s World rankings in late 2011. The Oranje then avenged their loss to Spain in the 2014 World Cup, since Robin van Persie scored a famous diving header in a 5-1 win. The Netherlands would go on to make the semifinal, where they were eliminated by Argentina on penalty kicks.

Then, the Oranje missed out on both Euro 2016 and the 2018 World Cup and cycled through six coaches in as many years. They did come in third in the inaugural UEFA Nations League in 2019, though.

Netherlands flag
Dutch Soccer

Netherlands Soccer Leagues & Clubs:

Domestic Netherlands soccer betting is primarily done on the Eredivisie. The Eredivisie is the top flight league in the Netherlands and consists of 18 clubs.

The first place team at the end of the double-round robin season is crowned champion and qualifies for the UEFA Champions League.

Meanwhile, the bottom two teams are automatically relegated. The 16th place team contests a playoff versus the winner of the “Nacompetitie” tournament in the second tier to determine who plays in next season’s Eredivisie.

According to the UEFA country coefficients, the Eredivisie is the best European league outside of the “top five” leagues.

Eredivisie Clubs – 2022/23 Season
FC Emmen
Fortuna Sittard
Go Ahead Eagles
FC Groningen
SC Heerenveen
PSV Eindhoven
RKC Waalwijk
Sparta Rotterdam
FC Twente
FC Utrecht
FC Volendam

The second tier Dutch soccer league is called the Eerste Divisie. The Eerste Divisie also plays a double-round robin but has 20 clubs and handles promotion/relegation differently.

Some seasons, no clubs are relegated to the third tier. The two top finishers are automatically promoted to the Eredivisie. The right to contest the promotion playoff versus the 16th place Eredivisie team is, in turn, determined by a Eerste Divisie promotion playoff.

Eerste Divisie Clubs – 2022/23 Season
ADO Den Haag
Almere City
Den Bosch
De Graafschap
Helmond Sport
Heracles Almelo
Jong Ajax
Jong AZ
Jong PSV
Jong FC Utrecht
MVV Maastricht
NAC Breda
PEC Zwolle
Roda JC Kerkrade
Willem II

Netherlands Cups & Tournaments

Netherlands Soccer Betting Information

Betting on the Eredivisie

Netherlands soccer betting on the Eredivisie is quite popular. The top teams are traditionally AFC Ajax, PSV Eindhoven, and Feyenoord Rotterdam. None of them have ever been relegated from the top flight. The last time a team outside of “De Grote Drie” won the Eredivisie title was FC Twente in 2010-11. Heading into 2022-23, Ajax were three-time defending champions.

Pre-pandemic, there was typically a big home-field advantage. In 2018-19 and 2019-20, the home winning percentage was over 50 percent. The league is one of the more exciting European leagues, and both teams scored in 55 percent of matches in 2021-22. Over 2½ goals occurred in 56 percent of matches in the same season.

The Eredivisie is a league full of soccer’s young talents and plenty of high-level players have passed through the league. While experience is usually valuable, Ajax and PSV are typically among the youngest teams in the league.

Moneyline bets on the top teams don’t necessarily provide great value, so spread betting is quite popular in the Eredivisie. Totals betting is another good way to break into Eredivisie betting when familiar with play styles and tactics.

Netherlands National Team Betting Tips & Odds

Netherlands soccer betting on the national team is also quite popular. The Oranje have been one of the most successful European teams, but they’re yet to win a World Cup. They’ve come incredibly close on three occasions. They were finalists in 1974, 1978, and 2010. They also finished in third in 2014 but missed out on the World Cup in 2018.

Heading into Qatar 2022, the Netherlands were one of the most in-form teams. They had been unbeaten in their last 14 internationals and had just advanced to the Nations League semifinals. The Oranje had defeated Belgium twice in the last year and finished with the most points in Nations League A. Memphis Depay was also only eight goals away from tying Robin van Persie’s record of 50 goals for the Netherlands.

With defenders like Virgil van Dijk, Matthijs de Ligt, Nathan Ake, and Denzel Dumfries, it could be difficult to score on the Netherlands. They have the seventh-best odds to win the World Cup, at +1200. The Oranje sit at -225 odds to win Group A over Senegal, Ecuador, and hosts Qatar. The Netherlands disappointed by getting knocked out in the round of 16 in Euro 2020, but they look a different team under Louis van Gaal.

Following the World Cup, Euro 2024 qualifiers will be another good opportunity to bet on the national team. The Netherlands are in a group with France, Republic of Ireland, Gibraltar and Greece. Due to their first place finish in their Nations League group, they’ve assured making, at least, the playoff stage.


Dutch soccer punches well above its weight. The Eredivisie is unheralded but one of the best ten soccer leagues in the world. Betting on the Eredivisie is a solid option for knowledgeable bettors. It’s also one of the more exciting and high-scoring leagues out there.

The Netherlands national team hasn’t always been the most consistent in recent years. However, they usually perform well at World Cups. One concern heading into the tournament will be where the goals will come from. Outside of Depay, the Netherlands lack a proven international goal scorer. 

Netherlands Soccer FAQS

Is sports betting legal in the Netherlands?

Yes, both in-person and online sports betting are legal in the Netherlands.

Is in-play betting allowed in the Netherlands?

Live betting is permitted in the Netherlands and is a popular way to bet.

Who is the Eredivisie’s top all-time scorer?

Willy van der Kuijlen scored 311 goals in the Eredivisie, and the vast majority were for PSV. He’s the Eredivisie’s all-time top scorer.

Which Dutch team has won the most championships?

As of the start of the 2022-23 season, Ajax have been Dutch champions 36 times, the most of any team.

What is football called in the Netherlands?

The Dutch word for football is voetbal and it’s commonly heard in the Netherlands.

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