The Netherlands national football team is controlled by the Royal Netherlands Football Association. The team played their first ever official international match in 1905 where Belgium were the opposition as the Dutch romped to a 4-1 victory. The team made first round appearances at the 1934 and 1938 World Cups but failed to qualify for any World Cups or European Championships until 1974 as the country entered a period of international wilderness.
Between 1974 and 1978, the country entered their peak period known as the “total football” era. Led by playmaker Johann Cruyff, the Netherlands beat both Argentina and Brazil in the group stages before facing West Germany in their homeland in the final. The Dutch went 1-0 up with a penalty before any Germans had even touched the ball. However, despite Holland playing the better football, the resilient home team equalised and then added a late winner from Gerd Muller to win the 1974 World Cup. The team also looked to make their mark at Euro 76 but disappointingly lost to the Czech Republic in the semi finals.
The golden generation once again looked to make their mark on the 1978 World Cup but were disappointing in the group stages only just qualifying as runner up. However, the second group stages saw the Dutch top a group that included Italy and West Germany. Once again, they reached the final, this time to Argentina, but lost 3-1 after extra time. Several players including Johann Cruyff refused to play in the World Cup which led to the Dutch having a potentially weaker squad than they anticipated. Euro 80 was the final tournament that this generation took part in but they were eliminated in the first round. Following this, the country failed to qualify for tournaments in 82, 84 and 86.
Today's retro Tuesday feature is the shirt that Holland wore at Euro 88 when they won their only major international competition in their history. Holland defeated the Soviet Union in the European Championships 1988 final 2-0 [...]