Thursday, 25 Jul 2024

The Netherlands’ Best Players: Gakpo, Van Dijk, De Jong

best netherlands soccer players

Orange isn’t a color commonly associated with football, unlike some others. However, the Netherlands stands out by proudly donning the color orange, which has become synonymous with their national team. In anticipation of their upcoming match against the USMNT in the Round of 16 at the Qatar World Cup 2022, let’s take a closer look at three standout players from the Netherlands: Virgil van Dijk, Frenkie de Jong, and Cody Gakpo.

Virgil van Dijk

Believe it or not, this is Virgil van Dijk’s first major international tournament. Although the Netherlands didn’t qualify for Russia 2018 and van Dijk was injured for Euro 2020, his exceptional performances at the club level have solidified his reputation as one of the greatest centre-backs in the Premier League era. Van Dijk’s ball-playing ability and defensive prowess have been unmatched for years. Despite the Netherlands’ unconvincing performance so far, van Dijk continues to shine in the tournament. The USMNT will need to be at the top of their game to contain him in the upcoming clash.

Frenkie de Jong

Frenkie de Jong has faced numerous challenges at Barcelona, both on and off the field. However, when playing for the Netherlands, he transforms into a different player. With the freedom to roam and drive his team forward, de Jong’s skills truly come to the forefront. It seems impossible to dispossess him, as he effortlessly glides past opponents, carrying the ball through the dimensions. Tyler Adams, the emerging star of the USMNT, has been outstanding in the tournament. The battle between de Jong and Adams in midfield promises to be an intriguing one.

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Cody Gakpo

Dubbed the breakout player of the tournament, Cody Gakpo has been a revelation for the Netherlands. With three goals already, he shares the top spot on the World Cup goal-scoring charts with Enner Valencia and a certain Kylian Mbappé. Gakpo’s excellent ball-striking ability and dead-ball delivery have added a new dimension to the Netherlands’ attacking play. His lightning pace, intelligent movement, delicate touch, and physical strength make him a formidable threat. Be prepared for heightened DEFCON levels when Gakpo stands over corners and free-kicks. The USA will have their hands full trying to contain him.

So, should the Netherlands have an easy time against the USA? Not quite. The USA has displayed remarkable resilience and quality, both in attack and defense, throughout the tournament. It promises to be a thrilling encounter.

Joe’s prediction: The Netherlands 2-1 USA (sorry, USA fans, Cody Gakpo is very good).


Q: Who are the standout players of the Netherlands national team?
A: Virgil van Dijk, Frenkie de Jong, and Cody Gakpo are three players who have been performing exceptionally well for the Netherlands.

Q: Is this Virgil van Dijk’s first major international tournament?
A: Yes, van Dijk missed the previous international tournaments due to the Netherlands not qualifying for the World Cup and being injured during Euro 2020.

Q: What makes Frenkie de Jong special for the Netherlands?
A: De Jong is given the freedom to roam and drive his team forward, showcasing his exceptional skills and ability to evade opponents effortlessly.

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Q: Why is Cody Gakpo considered a breakout player?
A: Gakpo has impressed with three goals in the World Cup so far, displaying excellent ball-striking ability, dead-ball delivery, and lightning pace.


The Netherlands’ national team boasts an array of standout players who are set to make an impact in the upcoming match against the USMNT. Virgil van Dijk’s defensive prowess, Frenkie de Jong’s dynamic midfield presence, and Cody Gakpo’s electrifying attacking abilities provide the Netherlands with a formidable lineup. While the Netherlands may be favored, the USA has proven to be a resilient and talented team. It promises to be an exciting clash between two quality sides. Let’s see which team will advance to the next round of the tournament.