HollandPosted on: 05 June 2008 by Gareth Hargreaves
The Dutch will once again do their utmost to turn the party orange.
Coach: Marco van Basten (43) The former deadly Dutch striker looks unlikely to inspire the underachieving national side to victory before leaving after the tournament.
Away From The Game
Famous Export: Vincent van Gogh, Tulips, Windmills, Anne Frank.
National Food: Stamppot (potatoes and vegetables mashed together), hutspot (boiled and mashed potatoes, carrots and onions).
National Drink: Jenever (juniper-flavoured liqour, advocaat (a rich and creamy liqueur made from eggs, sugar and brandy).
National Animal: Lion
Star: Wesley Sneijder (23), Real Madrid (Spa) midfield dynamo. Easily adaptable, two-footed and a fantastic dead-ball specialist.
Hidden Gem: Rafael van der Vaart (25) Hamburg (Ger) Creative midfielder who finally seems set to get a starting place. Likely to leave Germany this summer and a move to a European giant is not out of the question.
How They Qualified: Runners-up in Group G behind Romania but in front of Bulgaria, Belarus, Slovenia, Albania and Luxembourg.
Previous Best: Winners 1988
FIFA Ranking: 10
Key Fact: The Holland team does not wear the colours of the Dutch flag of today, but instead plays in bright orange. Orange is the historic national colour of the Netherlands, originating from the coat of arms of the Dutch founding father William of Orange-Nassau.
Overview: The perennial underachievers will have to do things the hard way if they are to make any impact on Euro 2008. Drawn in a group alongside favourites Italy and France and the dangerous Romanians, the Orangemen may be looking at an early exit. Van Basten has the quality amongst his first eleven but strength in depth is lacking, leaving a derailed challenge most likely.
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