Virgil Van Dijk leads the Netherlands as they look to get their first-ever World Cup after getting so close on numerous occasions.
The Dutchman has recently seen a drop in his form along with his teammates in Liverpool. However, as determined as he always is, the center-back now looks in good shape. Meanwhile, the Scousers have ended their matches before the World Cup break on a good note. And VVD seems to get his dominance back in the backline. Netherlands squad seems to get their confidence back with the reliability of Van Dijk’s presence as the heart of defence.
Van Dijk to lead the Netherlands national team at Qatar
The World Cup in Qatar is very significant. For some players, it might be their last chance to win the biggest trophy of all for their country. And for some, it is yet another opportunity to get their country’s first-ever World Cup.
The Dutch are viewed as outsiders for the gold this winter despite having a good mix of youth and experience. Can they surpass expectations once more? In their past two World Cup appearances, they came with little fanfare and won silver and bronze, respectively.
It’s important to keep in mind that Netherlands failed to qualify for Russia 2018 after finishing third in Brazil in 2014. They now have the opportunity to show the world what we have been missing.
This year the World Cup is jam-packed with competition among the squad. And the Dutch team looks all ready to take the challenges head-on. The squad seems to have a good balance and lots of potential to get the job done. It is only a matter of time to see them thrive.
Netherlands Squad for the World Cup 22
The Dutch are looking as quite a balanced side this year and can pull out shock-ups if all goes according to their plan. The defensive reliability of Van Dijk, Ake, and De Ligt will surely help the midfielders to play their game efficiently.
As for the midfield, we see three players from Ajax and two from PSV, and some from Atalanta. While the Barca star De Jong will lead the side in the middle of the park making the team much more versatile.
The forwards include the likes of Depay, Bergwijn, and Luke De Jong as the Dutch looks to kick off their 2022 World Cup campaign in style.
Goalkeepers: Justin Bijlow, Andries Noppert, Remko Pasveer.
Defenders: Virgil van Dijk, Nathan Ake, Daley Blind, Jurrien Timber, Denzel Dumfries, Stefan de Vrij, Matthijs de Ligt, Tyrell Malacia, Jeremie Frimpong.
Midfielders: Frenkie de Jong, Steven Berghuis, Davy Klaassen, Teun Koopmeiners, Cody Gakpo, Maarten de Roon, Kenneth Taylor, Xavi Simons.
Forwards: Memphis Depay, Steven Bergwijn, Vincent Janssen, Luuk de Jong, Noa Lang, Wout Weghorst.
2022: is this the year for Netherlands?
After falling short in Russia four years ago, the Netherlands enters the World Cup in Qatar with high expectations from their devoted supporters.
In 2010 and 2014, the Netherlands came in second and third, respectively. They are back on the biggest stage in the world to attempt another deep run in the tournament.
After the Netherlands lost to the Czech Republic in the round of 16 of the 2020 Euros, Frank De Boer was replaced as coach by Louis Van Gaal.
In August of last year, Van Gaal, who also led the national team to the 2014 World Cup, took over again. Since then, the 71-year-old has used a 5-3-2 formation that has been extremely successful for the team that won the 1988 European Championship.
His initial starting formation, a 4-3-3, drew criticism from the captain and Liverpool star Virgil Van Dijk. However, things are getting back on the right path now as everyone in the squad looks in sync.
For Liverpool, Van Dijk plays at the heart of defence and the Reds no. 4 will have a similar role for the Orange. He plays on the left side of the center defence, despite being right-footed. He radiates confidence and adds a crucial element of calmness to Liverpool’s defence.
There is a rairty about the fouls Van Dijk commits (This year being the exception) which makes him a formidable defender. The fact that Liverpool struggled so much when he got injured in 2020–21 is evidence of his talent and the influence he has had in the Merseyside club.
The Dutch will kick-off their World Cup journey against the so-called dark horse Senegal. Although ex-Red Sadio Mane will miss out on the opportunity to play against his former teammate. The Lions of Teranga will have to proceed without Mane, who is ruled out due to an injury.