FIFA World Cup 2022: The Oranjes ready to battle for the lost dream!

Donny van de Beek of Manchester United and Sven Botman of Newcastle United have been left out of the Netherlands squad for the World Cup. Van de Beek, who hasn’t represented his country since March of last year, was defeated by uncapped Xavi Simons, who has impressed for PSV this season. Botman has yet to receive a senior cap, but he has been in good form for Newcastle.

Virgil van Dijk of Liverpool and Nathan Ake of Manchester City are in the squad, as is Tyrell Malacia of Manchester United. Wout Weghorst of Burnley, who is on loan at Besiktas, as well as Mathijs de Ligt of Bayern Munich and Frenkie de Jong of Barcelona, make the cut.

Cody Gakpo, a PSV player who has reportedly attracted interest from a number of top European clubs, is also in the squad.

Netherlands World Cup 2022 squad

Goalkeepers: Justin Bijlow, Remko Pasveer, Andries Noppert

Defenders: Virgil van Dijk, Nathan Aké, Daley Blind, Jurriën Timber, Denzel Dumfries, Stefan de Vrij, Mathijs de Ligt, Tyrell Malacia, Jeremie Frimpong

Midfielders: Frenkie de Jong, Steven Berghuis, Davy Klaassen, Teun Koopmeiners, Cody Gakpo, Marten de Roon, Kenneth Taylor, Xavi Simons

Forwards: Memphis Depay, Steven Bergwijn, Vincent Janssen, Luuk de Jong, Noa Lang, Wout Weghorst

Van Dijk, the captain of the Liverpool defense, remains in command. The 31-year-old’s pace, power, and aerial dominance make him one of the world’s most formidable center-backs, as does his partner, 21-year-old Matthijs de Ligt of Bayern Munich, who joined the club from Serie A’s Juventus for £70 million in August.

Frenkie de Jong and Memphis Depay of Barcelona were linked with moves away from Camp Nou throughout the summer but ended up staying and will be key figures. De Jong’s passing, dribbling, and versatility make him an invaluable asset, while Depay, reunited with Van Gaal after an unhappy spell together at Old Trafford, is unquestionably their best goal threat.

Who will the Oranje team face in this tournament?

The Netherlands are in Group A, along with Qatar who will face Ecuador, and will open the tournament against Senegal.

World Cup 2022 Group A

They should finish first in Group A and could catch the eye in the early stages of the World Cup with goals and entertaining football that could have some predicting Van Gaal’s side as dark horses. Unless England messes up Group B, the Dutch should advance to the round of 16, where they could face Wales or the United States. However, there is a reason why the Netherlands aren’t among the top World Cup contenders, and that reason could be revealed in the quarterfinals when they face Argentina.

What is Netherlands’ World Cup record?

Rivalled only by Croatia for punching well above the weight of their size, Netherlands are a contender for the best national side never to have won a World Cup.

Three times they have finished runners-up, twice during the 1970s (1974 and 1978) during the Rinus Michels/Johan Cruyff-inspired ‘Total Football’ era, and again in 2010 when they lost 1-0 to Spain in one of the filthiest football matches of modern times.

Despite missing out on the 2018 tournament, their recent record is impressive: Van Gaal took them to third place in 2014 before decamping to Manchester United.

A relatively routine run through qualifying will have also bolstered their confidence and with a group that should be fairly easy to negotiate, the Oranje are definitely a team to look out for in Qatar. 

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