Arjen Robben
Arjen RobbenReuters

Manager: Louis Van Gaal.

World Ranking: 15.

How they qualified: Netherlands cruised into the finals of Brazil 2014, coming through as Europe's joint-top country with the most points - alongside Germany - on 28. They finished nine points ahead of Romania, with a leading margin only matched by neighbours Belgium.

World Cup Best: Runners-up in 1974, 1978, 2010.

Fixtures: Group B - Spain (13 June), Australia (18 June) and Chile (23 June).


Goalkeepers: Jasper Cillessen, Tim Krul, Michel Vorm.

Defenders: Daley Blind, Daryl Janmaat, Terence Kongolo, Bruno Martins Indi, Joel Veltman, Paul Verhaegh, Ron Vlaar, Stefan de Vrij.

Midfielders: Jordy Clasie, Leroy Fer, Jonathan De Guzman, Nigel de Jong, Wesley Sneijder, Georginio Wijnaldum, Memphis Depay.

Forwards: Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, Dirk Kuijt, Jeremain Lens, Robin van Persie, Arjen Robben.

Expectations: Van Gaal's side will have to sweat from the first match. They were casual against the current world champions Spain, who defeated them in the World Cup final in South Africa in 2010 as Andres Iniesta extinguished their dreams of winning a first world title.

Netherlands - who were superb in their qualifying campaign for Brazil 2014 - will not have forgotten that huge blow and will be seeking revenge. Not qualifying for the quarter-finals would be seen as a failure.

Star man: Arjen Robben – The Bayern Munich winger faces his third World Cup, and perhaps the last. The 30-year-old has played a key role in boss Pep Guardiola's attacking game in the Bundesliga in the just-ended campaign scoring 11 goals with seven assists.

In 2006 his side failed to qualify for the final while in 2010 Robben couldn't beat Spanish goalkeeper Iker Casillas and saw his dream end. In Brazil, the former Chelsea winger wants to declare war being a constant threat on the wing as he knows it can be his last chance to win a trophy with Netherlands – so he will do everything possible to return to lead his country to a World Cup final.

Prediction: Group stage – Current champion Spain are expected to win the group. So it won't be easy for Netherlands, who will have to put everything into reaching the last 16 if they want to realise their World Cup dream. Even though Chile are not favourites, they can spring a big surprise.