The 2014 World Cup will be played in the terrific country of Brazil. 32 teams representing the continents of South and North America, Africa, Europe, Australia, and Asia will all compete to raise the trophy as champions by the end of the tournament.
Few sporting events in the world rival the prestige that the World Cup of football represents and many eyes will be on the largest country in South America come June and July. Time will tell if a new champion will rise once the ball is kicked off and play begins. If the Dutch squad has anything to say before the final whistle, they’ll be raising the championship trophy in Rio de Janeiro come July 13. Here is a team preview of the Netherlands squad that will compete in the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
In the mighty Group B
The Dutch will have to bring their best game if they want to escape their group, let alone make it back to the championship game as they did in the 2010 tournament. They met Spain in the Final at that tournament, and it took extra time for Spain to connect on a goal that sent them into the history books, and the Netherlands holding back tears as they dropped their heads in defeat.
The good news for the Oranje is that they have a bevy of talent on the squad, but the question will be whether or not they can reach top form come tournament time; and the prospect of being grouped with the defending champion is never good. Other members of Group B include Chile and Australia. The Dutch have made it to the Final match of the tournament on three different occasions (1974, 1978, and 2010) but have yet to be crowned champions of the world. We’ll see if 2014 will be different.
Who to watch for
The Netherlands has always produced fantastic football players, from Bergkamp to Seedorf, but has never been able to bring their beautiful country a World Cup title. Whenever a team representing Netherlands enters a major tournament, there is always a chance for them to be victorious and this year won’t be any different. There is no question that it is a different club than the one that nearly reached the top in South Africa, but it is talented nonetheless.
Amongst the young squad are veterans like Arjen Robben, Wesley Sneijder, and Robin Van Persie, who all need to be supreme in order for the Dutch to have success at the cup. Van Persie captains the team, which is managed by newly named Manchester United boss, Louis Van Gaal.
June 13 versus Spain in Salvador
June 18 versus Chile in Porto Alegre
June 23 versus Australia in Sao Paulo