The Netherlands have a record of falling short at major tournaments, losing in World Cup finals in 1974, 1978 and 2010. The European Championship is the only international title the Oranje have won, taking the trophy in 1988 with a team that included Marco van Basten, Ruud Gullit, Frank Rijkaard and Ronald Koeman. (More Football News)
Now, the European heavyweights have another chance to right the wrongs in Euro 2020 even as several key players hope to seize the opportunity to rebound after disappointments in various leagues.
GROUP AND FIXTURES
The Dutch have home advantage in Group C, playing all three of their matches — against Ukraine, Austria and North Macedonia — in Amsterdam in front of at least 12,000 fans.
Frank de Boer's men open their campaign with a fixture against Ukraine at Johan Cruyff Arena on June 13. It will be followed by clashes against Austria on June 17 and lowly North Macedonia on June 21.
They are expected to win the group. And in that case, they will face the third-placed side from either Group D or E or F in the Round of 16. If they finish second, they face Group A winners from Italy, Switzerland, Turkey and Wales.
WHO TO WATCH
Virgil van Dijk won't get that chance. The captain ruled himself out of the tournament to recover from a knee injury. "It's too soon," the Liverpool central defender said in a video message more than six months after damaging ligaments in a high challenge by Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford in the Merseyside derby. The Netherlands will be hoping that his absence will not trigger the same slump that Liverpool endured this season.
Despite the absence of Virgil Van Dijk, the team still has some big names and talented players like Nathan Ake, Matthijs de Ligt, Frenkie de Jong, Donny van de Beek, Georginio Wijnaldum, Luuk de Jong, Memphis Depay -- all plying their trades in Europe's top leagues.
Ronald Koeman coached the Netherlands through Euro 2020 qualifying, but after successfully breathing new life into an ailing team, he quit in August to take over at Barcelona. His replacement, De Boer, struggled early, becoming the first Dutch coach to fail to register a win in any of his first four matches in charge.
Despite the known challenges, Netherlands are likely to win the group. In fact, they still have a squad to beat the best.
Goalkeepers: Jasper Cillessen (Valencia), Tim Krul (Norwich City), Maarten Stekelenburg (Ajax Amsterdam)
Defenders: Nathan Ake (Manchester City), Daley Blind (Ajax Amsterdam), Matthijs de Ligt (Juventus), Stefan de Vrij (Inter Milan), Denzel Dumfries (PSV Eindhoven), Jurriem Timber (Ajax Amsterdam), Patrick van Aanholt (Crystal Palace), Joel Veltman (Brighton & Hove Albion), Owen Wijndal (AZ Alkmaar)
Midfielders: Frenkie de Jong (Barcelona), Marten de Roon (Atalanta), Ryan Gravenberch, Davy Klaassen (both Ajax Amsterdam), Teun Koopmeiners (AZ Alkmaar), Donny van de Beek (Manchester United), Georginio Wijnaldum (Liverpool)
Forwards: Steven Berghuis (Feyenoord), Luuk de Jong (Sevilla), Memphis Depay (Olympique Lyonnais), Cody Gakpo, Donyell Malen (both PSV Eindhoven), Quincy Promes (Spartak Moscow), Wout Weghorst (Wolfsburg).