The Dutch national team have been one of the world's most spectacular teams to watch on the world stage- in the past, they have beaten France, England and Germany - twice.
However, there was a period when the side struggled to find their tempo having experienced three changes of head coaches and in the process, suffering two consecutive qualifying failures - Iceland and the Czech Republic respectively.
The former Dutch international Ronald De Boer in an interview with FIFA said that he believed in the Oranje's abilities to change things around despute the struggles they were constantly experiencing.
“There was a bit of panic when the national team was struggling - talk that we weren’t doing things the right way, and that we should copy Germany in how we develop our kids,” De Boer told Fifa's official website.
“I never believed it, and I said so at the time, because for me we have one of the best academy set-ups in the world. Fortunately, we didn’t change our structure in any big way, and the results are coming again now.
“I said back then, when things weren’t going so well, that we’d be back before long with a team that could compete against the best again. I could see that the talent that was coming through.
"Sometimes you just need to be patient. If you look back through history, there are always successful generations of Dutch players and then gaps when things don’t go so well. You can’t expect a small country like ours to produce one great team after another, packed with top players in every position. It comes and goes.”
De Boer further added that Ronald Koeman has a good side filled with quality players plying their trade in different leagues across the world and firmly believes they can do even better than the era of Johan Cruyff, Marco Van Basten and Dennis Bergkamp.
“For me, they can definitely challenge for the world title in 2022,” said the man who won 67 caps for the Oranje. “Everyone knows about [Matthijs] De Ligt, [Frenkie] De Jong and the other Ajax boys now, but there is also some unbelievable talent coming through at AZ, PSV and Feyenoord. Then you have the likes of [Virgil] Van Dijk, who keeps getting better and better.
“There’s a good balance too. You always need to hope with a national team that you have the right spread of players – that it’s not just five good strikers that come through at once, for example. And we’ve had that mix with De Ligt, De Jong, [Georginio] Wijnaldum, Memphis [Depay] and Van Dijk all emerging and doing really well in different positions.”
“I lived in Qatar for seven years, played with the likes of Pep [Guardiola], [Gabriel] Batistuta, Frank Lebouef, and I only have good things to say,” he said. “The biggest thing for me is the fact that the country is so compact. Fans will obviously be able to see two games in one day but, more than that, I think you’ll really have the feeling that a World Cup is going on.
“In bigger countries, the tournament and fans are more spread out, whereas in Qatar it is going to completely take over. There will be fans everywhere, and you’ll really feel the World Cup atmosphere wherever you go.
“That’s only going to be positive, and it’s good too that the tournament is being taken to a new culture. It will be a great experience for the fans who go there because they’ll experience something completely new, and they’ll find that the Qatari people are really friendly. I have complete trust that it’s going to be a great World Cup.”
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