The most memorable European Championships matches

National coach Frank de Boer starts on Monday 24 May with fourteen internationals the preparation for the European Championship. The tournament will be held from 11 June to 11 July in 11 cities and 11 countries. The Dutch national team has a number of highs and lows at the European Championships: from the first participation in 1976 to the most recent participation in 2012. On this page: a number of memorable European Championship matches that have entered Dutch football history.

1976: Loss against Czechoslovakia

The Netherlands was the big favourite at the 1976 European Championships after losing in the final two years earlier. In the end, it was a big disappointment: Johan Neeskens and Willem van Hanegem were shown red, after which the team lost 3-1 to Czechoslovakia in the pouring rain.

1988: Win against Soviet Union

The first and then only title of the Dutch national team at a European Championship was won in 1988. Under the leadership of Rinus Michels, the team won 2-0 against the Soviet Union. Marco van Basten's second goal is considered by many to be the highlight of the 1988 championship. The players were welcomed as heroes in the Netherlands, and the lap through the canals of Amsterdam went down in history.

1992: Loss against Denmark

As in 1976, the Dutch national team was mainly concerned with a final against Germany. Only the underdog Denmark had to be beaten in the semi-final. After many missed chances against a much stronger Denmark, Frank Rijkaard scored five minutes before time to make it 2-2. In the penalty shootout that followed, Marco van Basten was the only one to miss a penalty and Denmark unexpectedly found themselves in the final against Germany.

1996: Loss against England

The 1996 European Championships were difficult for the Netherlands and national coach Guus Hiddink. After two group matches, however, the Dutch team was almost certain to reach the next round, unless they lost to England by a large margin. And that is what happened: after an hour, the Netherlands was already trailing 4-0. Thanks to a late goal by Patrick Kluivert, the Netherlands still managed to qualify for the quarterfinals on the basis of goal difference.

2012: Loss against Portugal

The most recent European Championship for which the Netherlands qualified ended in disappointment. Under coach Bert van Marwijk, the Netherlands already lost against Denmark and Germany, and only with a win against Portugal does it have a chance of reaching the next round. Rafael van der Vaart made it 1-0, after which Cristiano Ronaldo scored twice and eliminated the Netherlands.

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