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Have the Netherlands ever won the World Cup? Dutch history in men’s FIFA tournament

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The Netherlands have been a football powerhouse for decades now and have never been ranked lower than 36 in the world by FIFA. 

For a country with an estimated population of just under 18 million people in 2022, the Netherlands have somehow rarely been short of quality players and coaches. 

From the iconic Johan Cruyff and Patrick Kluivert to modern stars like Memphis Depay and Virgil van Dijk, the Dutch have always boasted strong teams. 

But has that star power ever converted into a World Cup win? The Sporting News dives into their record at the men’s FIFA tournament. 

MORE: Who is the Netherlands best current player?

Have the Netherlands ever won the World Cup?

To date, the Netherlands have never won the World Cup but have come agonisingly close in the past.

They have in fact finished as runners-up on three occasions, losing the final in 1974, 1978 and 2010. 

Their last two finals both went to extra time with the Dutch losing 3-1 to Argentina in 1978 before Spain edged past them 1-0 in 2010 courtesy of Andres Iniesta’s goal in the 116th minute.

The Netherlands have also fallen short at the semi-final stages twice highlighting their ability to go deep into the tournament without ultimate success.

Netherlands best finish at FIFA World Cup

While they finished second on three occasions, South Africa 2010 marks their best overall campaign. 

The Netherlands won all six of their games leading up to the final against Spain, scoring 12 times and conceding just five goals on their way to another unsuccessful final.

Their 1974 campaign was also quite strong as they won five of seven games with one draw and one loss. The Dutch also ended the tournament with a goal difference of +12 having let in just one goal prior to the final that ended 2-1 to West Germany.

Across their past 10 World Cups, the Netherlands have notably never failed to escape their group – a trend that has continued at Qatar 2022. 

Finish Achieved Years
Final 3 1974, 1978, 2010
Semifinals 2 1998, 2014
Quarterfinals 1 1994
Round of 16 4 1934, 1938, 1990, 2006
Group Stage  

Netherlands World Cup history and results

While the Dutch have often stumbled in qualifying for the World Cup, once there they rarely fail to deliver on the pitch. 

Prior to the 2022 World Cup, the Netherlands had lost just 12 of their 50 games at the tournament – with three of those defeats coming in the final. 

Year Result Record
(W-D-L)
1930 Did not enter
1934 Round of 16 0-0-1
1938 Round of 16 0-0-1
1950 Did not enter
1954 Did not enter
1958 Did not qualify
1962 Did not qualify
1966 Did not qualify
1970 Did not qualify
1974 Runners-up 5-1-1
1978 Runners-up 3-2-2
1982 Did not qualify
1986 Did not qualify
1990 Round of 16 0-3-1
1994 Quarter-finals 3-0-2
1998 Fourth place 3-3-1
2002 Did not qualify
2006 Round of 16 2-1-1
2010 Runners-up 6-0-1
2014 Third place 6-0-1
2018 Did not qualify
2022 Round of 16* 2-1-0

*Round of 16 match yet to be played. 


Credit: sportingnews.com

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